At least six Egyptian soldiers have been killed in the Sinai Peninsula, in the most recent of attacks targeting government troops in the eastern restive region.
A remotely detonated roadside bomb exploded on Sunday as an armoured vehicle responsible for protecting a natural gas pipeline passed by, sources said.
Hundreds of soldiers and police officers have been killed in attacks since the army-led overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in July last year.
A month after Morsi’s unseating, the army launched a military campaign to stamp out militias that have penetrated the neglected Sinai region, taking advantage of a security vacuum that accompanied years of political instability.
Most of these attacks, including an assassination attempt targeting the interior minister in Cairo last year, were claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the most active armed group in Egypt.
The group has expressed support for the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, although it has not formally pledged its allegiance.
The attacks have largely targeted policemen and soldiers, as the group says it seeks to avenge a bloody police crackdown on supporters of Morsi, in which over a thousand were killed in street clashes, and thousands more were imprisoned.
The latest Sinai attack came amid continuing turmoil in several university campuses across Egypt with students protesting against increasing security measures and the incarceration of hundreds of their colleagues.
Local media reported on Sunday that tear gas canisters were fired by police at crowds of pro-democracy students in Minya University in upper Egypt.
Clashes were also reported to have erupted between students and security forces in the university of the central district of Tanta. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify these reports.
Students belonging to the Students against Movement, which is closely affiliated to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, has been mobilising for daily protests since the previous academic year.
Thousands of students were jailed last year, of whom more than 900 remain behind bars. At least 19 students have been killed in the violence.