Hisham Barakat  cairo bomb
Hisham Barakat (centre) has been killed by a bomb blast near his car in Cairo KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

A leading prosecutor in Egypt's crackdown on Islamist movements has been killed in a bomb blast in Cairo.

A motorcade carrying Hisham Barakat, 64, was hit by an explosion near a military academy in the upscale Heliopolis suburb east of the capital, shortly after the prosecutor left home, officials said.

The detonation was triggered by a car bomb reportedly detonated by remote control as the convoy passed by.

Images from the scene showed black smoke rising from several charred vehicles.

Barakat was pronounced dead after a few hours at a local hospital where he was taken suffering from shrapnel wounds to his chest, liver and shoulder, state media said.

Police officials had initially said he was "in good condition" after the assassination attempt in which another seven people including two policemen were injured.

A group named Giza Popular Resistance claimed responsibility for the attack. The claim, posted on the group's Facebook page along with photos from the bombing scene, could not be independently verified.

The murder came on the eve of the second anniversary of mass street protests against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Starting on June 30 2013, the demonstrations were soon followed by a military coup that ousted Morsi and banished his Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Barakat was appointed prosecutor-general in July in the wake of the power takeover and has since led a government effort to tackle dissent, referring thousands of alleged Islamists to trial, with hundreds sentenced to death.

In turn, Islamist militants have stepped up attacks against representatives of the government and the judiciary.