Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack at the Italian consulate in central Cairo, in an escalation of violence that suggests militants are opening a new front against foreigners in Egypt.
The blast killed an Egyptian passerby and wounded eight other people, one of whom is still in hospital, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
“Islamic State soldiers were able to detonate a parked car bomb carrying 450kg of explosive material on the headquarters of the Italian consulate in central Cairo,” the group said in an online statement.
Until now, Islamic State supporters in Egypt had not set their sights on Western targets, focusing instead on security forces. A health ministry spokesman said one Egyptian civilian was killed and 10 wounded. State news agency MENA separately said two policemen were among the wounded.
The blast heavily damaged the consulate, shook other buildings downtown and could be heard in surrounding neighbourhoods.
Italy’s foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said there were no Italian victims in the blast. “Italy will not be intimidated,” he said.
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