Bomb outside Italian embassy in Cairo leaves at least one dead

Baku, July 11, AZERTAC

A huge explosion occurred in front of the Italian consulate in central Cairo on Saturday, killing at least one person, state news agency MENA said.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear but one security official said it was a car bomb. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

A senior security source as saying preliminary investigations indicated that attackers had placed a bomb underneath a car near the consulate and remotely detonated it, MENA reported.

Heath ministry official Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar told Associated Press that at least one person was killed in the blast and MENA reported two police officers had been injured.

Islamist militants seeking to topple the government have claimed responsibility for roadside bombs and suicide bombing attacks.

The violence, and political turmoil triggered by the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, have hurt Egypt's tourism industry, a pillar of the economy.

The explosion struck one of the busiest intersections in Cairo, a major artery that connects Ramses square to the heart of downtown Cairo.

The MENA report cited witnesses as saying the explosion had caused massive destruction to the building. The force of the blast shook a building in downtown Cairo and could be heard in many neighbourhoods.

A western diplomat said he was aware of the explosion in front of the consulate but could not confirm that the building was the target.

A Sinai-based insurgency has escalated since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests against his rule in 2013.

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