A funeral held for the little girl. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: An Egyptian man had killed his wife and their nine-month-old baby before he took his own life, police said, in the last of a string of family killings in the country.

The dead body of the wife aged 34, was found inside their apartment in the district of Hadayek Al Ahram near the Giza Pyramids, police added. The bodies of the husband, a 45-year-old contractor, and the baby were found inside an air shaft of the house. Investigations showed that the man had strangled his wife to death by his scarf before throwing the baby from their four-floor apartment and jumping to his death after her, police said.

Despair over failing to repay accumulated business debts is believed to be the cause of the killings.

The wife's mother told police that her daughter had called her hours before the murder and told her that her husband was in a bad psychological condition after he incurred debts of 31 million Egyptian pounds (Dh7.2million) and failed to repay the money.

"I want to commit suicide but I 'm afraid to leave you facing trouble after me," the mother-in-law quoted the man as telling her daughter, according to private newspaper Al Watan.

In recent years, Egyptian media reported a rise in family killings in the country.

Last month, a psychologically ill woman fatally threw her two children from the four-floor balcony of her house north of Cairo before she leaped after them. The 33-year-old mother died later of injuries at a local hospital.

Last March, a criminal court sentenced a medical doctor to death by hanging after he was convicted of killing his wife and three children in the Nile Delta province of Kafr Al Shaikh.