The Men's World Team Squash Championship, which was due to take place in Cairo from December 12-18, has been called off for security reasons, the sport's international federation said.

Egyptian Squash Federation president Assem Khalifa requested the postponement because "some teams did not wish to attend the championship".

"We request this postponement with a heavy heart as Cairo is a safe city," said Khalifa.

The sport's international federation on Friday confirmed the cancellation of a championship that was supposed to see the participation of teams from 23 countries.

England, France, Germany, the United States and Canada took the decision earlier this week not to attend the tournament.

Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Colombia have also cancelled their attendance, the federation said.

On Friday, assailants attacked a Cairo nightclub with petrol bombs, killing at least 16 people in the ensuing blaze.

While there was no indication of any link to political groups, the arson comes at a time when the country's security forces are on heightened alert after a series of attacks, including in Cairo.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies