An explosion in a tourist area of the Egyptian capital has killed at least two people and wounded 17 others.

Early reports say police in Cairo's Old City were probing witness accounts of a bomber on a motorcycle, but authorities have not released a formal statement.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry says the two dead have been identified as a French woman and an American.

Witnesses said hundreds of police sealed off the area and closed shops shortly after the late afternoon blast.

Several tourist bazaars are located in the area, which is near Cairo's prestigious al-Azhar University and mosque.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.