One killed in car bomb blast at Italian Consulate in Cairo
A powerful blast left at least one dead in front of the Italian Consulate in downtown Cairo Saturday, the second car bomb attack in the Egyptian capital in less than a fortnight.
The explosion badly damaged the consulate, known to be closed Fridays and Saturdays, at around 6:25am CMT. The area is usually busier during working days as the timing of the explosion may have limited the number of casualties.
The consulate's entrance on Al-Galaa Street as well as its façade were destroyed. A water pipe on Al-Galaa and 26th of July streets was also damaged, causing water to flow. Neighbouring buildings have also suffered some damages, according to residents.
Preliminary investigations show that the explosive-laden vehicle parked outside the Italian Consulate before going off. According to health ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, ten people have been injured.
Sixth of October Bridge, which crosses over the consulate, was briefly sealed off in both directions. Al-Galaa Street, where the explosion occurred, was also closed.
The Italian Consulate complex in Downtown Cairo includes a cultural centre as well a social club. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion.
Italy will not be intimidated by the deadly bombing of its consulate in Cairo, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in the wake of the attack.
"Bombing against our consulate in Cairo, there are no Italian victims," Gentiloni tweeted shortly after the attack that left left one person dead.
"Our thoughts are with the people affected and with our personnel. Italy will not let itself be intimidated."
On 29 June, Egypt's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, was assassinated in a car bomb attack in Cairo's Heliopolis district.
Earlier in the same month, a bomb was planted under a car in front of the Saudi Consulate in Cairo's Garden City where many embassies are located. No casualties were reported.
Egypt has recently seen a spike in bombings in civilian areas after attacks almost exclusively targeted police and army personnel and facilities, mostly claimed by Islamist groups.