Egypt bomb attack
Explosion rocks Italian consulate in central Cairo, EgyptReuters file photo

A huge explosion has taken place in front of the Italian consulate in central Cairo killing at least one person and injuring six others.

Egyptian authorities say it was a car bomb attack. According to the state news agency MENA, a woman and her three children who were injured in the explosion are being treated at a hospital.

Photos posted on social media showed thick smoke in the Egyptian capital's skyline after the explosion.

The extent of damage is still being ascertained as more details are awaited. Local reports suggest many buildings have been damaged.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni tweeted: "Bombing against our consulate in Cairo, there are no Italian victims."

"Our thoughts are with the people affected and with our personnel. Italy will not let itself be intimidated."

Anti-government Islamist groups fighting against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have reportedly claimed responsibility for the blast.