Egypt’s public prosecutor Hisham Barakat has died following a bomb attack on his car in Cairo.
Security sources said the device was detonated remotely as a convoy of vehicles left his home on Monday morning.
The explosion destroyed at least five cars and blew out shop windows.
Several other people were injured including five police guards.
Barakat died in hospital from his injuries.
He is the Egyptian state’s most senior figure to be killed since the army deposed Islamist President Mohammed Mursi in July 2013.
The chief prosecutor was at the forefront of the subsequent crackdown on Islamists, overseeing the detention of tens of thousands of government opponents.
His prosecutions resulted in death sentences for hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters.
Who carried out the attack has not been confirmed. A little known group calling itself the “Giza Popular Resistance” claimed responsibility in an entry on Facebook but then retracted it.
Judges and other officials have increasingly been targeted by Islamist militants opposed to President al-Sisi and apparently angered by sentences imposed on members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Last month, Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate urged followers to attack judges, opening a new front in an Islamist insurgency in the world’s most populous Arab state. In the same month three judges were shot dead in the northern Sinai city of al-Arish.