A large explosion has severely damaged the Italian consulate in Egypt’s capital, Cairo.

The health ministry says at least one person has died. Four people were also injured, medical sources said.

The blast was caused by a car bomb, an official told the state-run news agency Mena. No group has yet said it carried out the attack.

The consulate was closed and no civilian staff members are among the injured, an official told AP.

The main entrance of the building was almost totally destroyed, windows were shattered and the building was flooded after water-pipes ruptured.

Had it been a working day, the casualty numbers could have been much higher, says the BBC’s Sally Nabil in Cairo.

The attack raises questions about the security forces’ ability to secure foreign diplomatic missions in the country, our correspondent adds.

Egypt’s public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, was killed last month by a car bomb attack in the city.

In the same month, another car bomb targeting a police station left three people dead.

Egyptian security forces have been battling Islamic militants, but the fighting has been mostly confined to the Sinai Peninsula.

Militants in Egypt have killed at least 600 police and armed forces personnel in the past two years.

The militants stepped up their attacks after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

In recent weeks, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has promised to crack down further on Islamist militants.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members, including ousted President Mohammed Morsi, have been sentenced to death by Egypt’s courts.

The majority remain on death row awaiting execution.

Credit: BBC.com