An Egyptian man claims to have found a shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missile launcher near Cairo’s main international airport.

Ibrahim Yousri, who posted his discovery on Facebook on Saturday, said he was alarmed to find what looked like an SA-7 missile launcher discarded by the side of the road a mile north of the airport.

The weapon has a maximum range of around 2.5 miles and so it could be used at that distance to strike an aircraft landing or taking off.

Yousry wrote on Facebook that he was at first afraid to report the launcher to police in case they thought that he had something to do with it. But he said he ultimately decided it was too dangerous to leave the weapon lying around, The Daily Telegraph reported.

“The airport is not far away and it could cause disasters if it was placed here for a reason,” he wrote. “The airplanes here are an easy target because they fly at very low altitude and this is the best position for this weapon to be used.”

The weapon did not appear to be loaded with a missile, he added.

He said he struggled to convince two policemen nearby to take him seriously but that they eventually took the launcher and carried it away.

His post was widely shared online but has since been taken down.

Egypt has faced mounting criticism over security since Isis claimed to have blown up a Russian holiday charter flight following take off from Sharm el Sheikh airport in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

The UK then imposed a travel ban on flights to the Red Sea resort’s airport, citing fears of poor security.

Another 66 people were killed when an Egyptair flight went down over the Mediterranean in May 2016 as it flew from Paris to Cairo. The crash has never been explained but Egyptian authorities claim to have found traces of explosives on the bodies of victims.

The UK allows direct flights to and from Cairo and officials say they are satisfied with airport security at the Egyptian capital.