• The explosion happened at around 10am local time (8am GMT).
  • At least 10 people were injured and taken to hospital by ambulance.
  • Reports an assailant threw a bomb into the chapel.

At least 25 people have reportedly been killed in an explosion near a Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo. Reuters reports the blast happened close to St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in the city's Abbassia district, at around 10am local time (8am GMT) and left at least 10 people injured who were rushed to hospital.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion and the cause of the blast remains unclear. Cairo's security chief, Khalid Abdel Aal, has visited the scene where smoke could be seen rising into the air.

Egypt's official MENA news agency said an assailant threw a bomb into a chapel close to the outer wall of St Mark's Cathedral.

Approximately 10% of the Egyptian population are coptic Christians. The church is the largest in Egypt and Northeast Africa where most Copts live. The Church has around one million members outside Egypt and it has one cathedral under construction in the UK in Birmingham.

The explosions came after a day of bloodshed on Saturday. Six policemen were killed and three others injured in Cairo when a bomb exploded at a police checkpoint on a road leading to the Giza pyramids. Militant group Hasm claimed it was behind the attack. In September the group said it attempted to kill a senior prosecutor in the country.

Between August and November five terror attacks were carried out in Cairo, with a senior cleric, judicial officials, a general, and security services among those targeted. Terror groups loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood were believed to be responsible for the attacks, according to Al Monitor.

Cairo explosion
An explosion near the Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo has killed five people, reports claim