A Molotov cocktail hurled at a Cairo nightclub killed 12 people and wounded at least five on Friday, Egyptian security officials 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 in the establishment.
The nightclub, also a restaurant, was located in a basement, offering no escape route, officials said.
But MENA, Egypt’s state-run news agency, quoted an unnamed security official as saying three men on a motorcycle threw Molotov cocktails into the club in the Agouza district early on Friday and then fled.
It said the fire was quickly extinguished and security authorities are investigating the attack. Security officials earlier said 18 people died.
Police told AFP the number of the dead had risen to 16 people.
Police launched a manhunt after the perpetrators fled the scene of the firebombing in the Agouza neighbourhood of the Egyptian capital.
A thick cloud of smoke was seen billowing from the fire-ravaged nightclub.
According to a security source, the attack appeared to have been the result of a dispute between employees of the nightclub and a group of youths.
Islamist militants have claimed a number of bombing and shooting attacks in Egypt, mostly against members of the security forces since the army toppled Mohamed Morsi, the former president, of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests.