Egypt's Sisi says Russian plane downed by 'terrorism'

Russian officials visit the crash site of a A321 Russian airliner in Wadi al-Zolomat, a mountainous area of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on November 1, 2015 (AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that the Russian plane that crashed in Sinai last year was downed by terrorists seeking to damage Egypt’s tourism industry and relations with Moscow.

“Has terrorism ended, no it has not but it will if we unite. Whoever downed the Russian plane, what did he mean? He meant to hit tourism, and to hit relations with Russia,” Sisi said in a televised speech.

The comments were the first official Egyptian indication that the plane was deliberately downed.

Moscow stopped all civilian flights to Egypt, a popular destination for Russian tourists, after a Russian airplane crashed in Sinai on Oct. 31 killing all 224 people on board.

Russia said a bomb brought down the flight and ISIS said it smuggled the explosive aboard concealed in a soft drink can. But an Egyptian-led investigation had said it has yet to find evidence of foul play.

The official Egyptian confirmation that a bomb brought down the Airbus A321 could potentially expose Egypt to compensation payments to the families of the victims.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46