(ABC News Australia) – Bomb blast outside Cairo’s Italian consulate leaves one dead; Islamic State claims attack

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PHOTO: The Italian consulate building in Cairo was destroyed by a bomb blast, with initial investigations suggesting attackers planted the explosive in a car. (AFP: Mohamed El-Shahed)

One person has died in a powerful explosion outside the Italian consulate in Cairo, carried out by Islamic State militants, the first assault on a foreign mission in Egypt since jihadists launched a campaign against security forces two years ago.

A health ministry spokesman said the blast killed an Egyptian civilian and left at least nine others wounded.

IS warned Muslims to stay away from such places.

“Soldiers of the Islamic State in Cairo were able to detonate a parked booby-trapped vehicle laden with 450 kilograms of explosives at the headquarters of the Italian consulate,” the SITE Intelligence Group quoted an IS tweet as saying.

“We advise Muslims to stay away from these security dens, because they are legitimate targets for strikes of the mujahedeen.”

State news agency MENA separately said two policemen were among the wounded.

The blast occurred about 6:30am (2:30pm AEST), when the consulate would have been closed.

MENA cited a senior security source as saying preliminary investigations indicated attackers placed a bomb underneath a car near the consulate and remotely detonated it.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the early morning blast, which caused heavy damage to the consulate and to about 50 nearby buildings.

It shook other buildings downtown and the blast was heard in several surrounding neighbourhoods when it happened.

A small wooden police kiosk outside the consulate was completely destroyed.

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