A bomb went off close to the Italian Consulate on Saturday, leaving one person dead and at least another nine injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
One security official, speaking on conditions of anonymity, has been quoted as saying that investigators are looking into whether an explosive device was placed under a car parked near the building, according to the state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA).
The blast, which took place at approximately 6:00 a.m. local time on Saturday, destroyed the main entrance of the distinctive early 20th century building that once housed a school and became the Italian Consulate after World War II, shattering windows and rupturing water pipes. Had the blast taken place on a working day, the casualties could have been much higher, BBC News reported. The attack has once again raised questions about the Egyptian security forces' ability to secure foreign diplomatic missions in the country.
Egyptian Heath Ministry official Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar confirmed that at least one person was killed in the blast, and four others injured. Abdel-Ghaffar said the victim had not been identified, but that his limbs were severed, suggesting the victim was close to the explosion, according to Fox News.
Reacting to the incident, Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni vowed that his country would not be intimidated by such acts of terrorism.
"Our thoughts are with the people affected and with our personnel. Italy will not let itself be intimidated," Gentiloni wrote in a message on his official Twitter feed, the Egypt Independent reported.
The attack comes in the wake of a recent spate of incidents that have seen Egypt's public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, killed last month by a car bomb attack in the city. In another case, car bomb targeting a police station left three people dead earlier last month.