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Russian Plane Crash Investigation Points To Likely Explosion

Channels Television  
Updated November 4, 2015

Russian PlaneThe Russian plane crash in Egypt last weekend has been linked to likely explosion, but it is unclear whether a bomb or technical problems were to blame.

The Airbus A321M crashed on Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula shortly after taking off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on its way to the Russian city of St Petersburg, killing all 224 persons on board.

Britain, which hosts Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, said an explosive device may well have caused the crash, while CNN quoted a U.S. official as saying a bomb could have been planted on board by militants of Islamic State or one of its affiliates.

“It is believed to be an explosion but what kind is not clear. There is an examination of the sand at the crash site to try and determine if it was a bomb,” an Egyptian source, who is close to the team investigating the black boxes, told Reuters.

“There are forensic investigations underway at the crash site. That will help determine the cause, to see if traces of explosives are found.”

Islamic State, which controls swathes of Iraq and Syria and is battling the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula, said again on Wednesday it brought down the airplane.

The group said it would eventually tell the world how it carried out the attack.

Egypt, a close ally of the United States and the most populous Arab country, dismissed a similar statement by the ultra-hardline group on Saturday.

Sisi has described Islamist militancy as an existential threat to the Arab world and the West and has repeatedly called for greater international efforts to combat the militants.

The office of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was due to hold talks in London with Sisi on Thursday, said in a statement: “As more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device.”

Striking a similar note, the U.S. official quoted by CNN said: “There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane.”