A Molotov cocktail hurled at a Cairo restaurant killed 18 people and wounded six on Friday, Egyptian security officials have said.

One of the officials said the attacker was an employee who had been fired from the restaurant in the Agouza area in the centre of the Egyptian capital.

Victims of the blast were burned to death or died from smoke inhalation. The restaurant, also a nightclub, was located in a basement, offering no escape route, the officials said.

Reports initially suggested 18 people had been killed in the attack.

Islamist militants have claimed a number of bombing and shooting attacks in Egypt, mostly against members of the security forces since the army toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests.

This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly

Courtesy Independent