Free Press Journal

‘No evidence’ Russian airliner was downed by bomb: Egypt


TOPSHOTS A handout picture released by Egypt's Prime Minister's office on October 31, 2015, shows PM Sherif Ismail (R) at the site of the wreckage of a crashed A321 Russian airliner in Hassana a mountainous area of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. The Airbus A321, flight 9268, with 214 Russian and three Ukrainian passengers and seven crew, had taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in south Sinai bound for Saint Petersburg, it lost contact with air traffic control 23 minutes later , crashing in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killing everyone on board. AFP PHOTO / HO / SELIMAN AL-OTEIFI / EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ===

Cairo: Egypt’s civil aviation minister today rejected claims by Britain and the United States that a Russian airliner that crashed in the Sinai may have been brought down by a bomb. Investigators “have as yet no evidence or data confirming the theory” of a bomb attack, Hossam Kamal said in a statement. “The theory of a detonation in the Russian plane is not based on facts,” he said. “Egypt is committed to a full and thorough investigation, in order to establish the facts in the eyes of the whole world.”

Kamal also defended the security of Egypt’s airports, saying they had passed regular audits by Egyptian authorities and international organisations. “All of Egypt’s airports meet international standards for security measures,” he said. Britain and Ireland have temporarily suspended flights to and from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the plane took off from on Saturday bound for Saint Petersburg before crashing 23 minutes later, killing all 224 people on board.

The Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which is waging a deadly insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, has claimed it downed the plane.