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APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Russian Plane Crash
Debris of a Russian airplane is seen at the site a day after the passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg, Russia, crashed in Hassana, Egypt. AP—AP

Egypt Concedes That Terrorists Caused Sinai Plane Crash

Feb 25, 2016

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi acknowledged Wednesday that terrorists were indeed responsible for the crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula in October, which killed all 224 people onboard.

Metrojet Flight 7K9268 — an Airbus A321-200 en route to St. Petersburg — disintegrated in midair less than a half an hour after leaving the airport in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on Oct. 31. Within hours, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria's (ISIS) affiliate group in Egypt publicly took responsibility for the attack, saying it had concealed a bomb in a soda can, the New York Times reported.

In the months afterward, Egyptian authorities were reluctant to blame terrorism for the crash, even as Russia and Western authorities concluded that a bomb had downed the plane.

On Wednesday, however, Sisi delivered a national address on Egypt's development prospects, in which he made a pointed reference to "those who downed the flight."

An Egyptian soldier stands guard as emergency workers unload bodies of victims from the crash of a Russian aircraft over the Sinai peninsula from a police helicopter to ambulances at Kabrit military airport, some 20 miles north of Suez, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. A Russian Metrojet plane crashed Saturday morning in a mountainous region in the Sinai after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people aboard. Officials said the pilot had reported a technical problem and was looking to make an emergency landing before radio contact with air traffic controllers went dead. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
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An Egyptian soldier stands guard as emergency workers unload bodies of victims from the crash of a Russian aircraft over the Sinai peninsula from a police helicopter to ambulances at the military airport in Kabrit, Egypt, on Oct. 31, 2015Amr Nabil—AP
An Egyptian soldier stands guard as emergency workers unload bodies of victims from the crash of a Russian aircraft over the Sinai peninsula from a police helicopter to ambulances at Kabrit military airport, some 20 miles north of Suez, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. A Russian Metrojet plane crashed Saturday morning in a mountainous region in the Sinai after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people aboard. Officials said the pilot had reported a technical problem and was looking to make an emergency landing before radio contact with air traffic controllers went dead. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Debris from crashed Russian jet lies strewn across the sand at the site of the crash in the Sinai region in Egypt on Oct. 31, 2015.
Russian plane crash site in central Sinai, Egypt
epa05004879 Ambulances transporting the bodies of the victims of the Russian passenger flight crash arrive at the Zeinhom morgue, Cairo, Egypt, 31 October 2015. According to reports the Egyptian Government has dispatched more than 45 ambulances to the crash site of the Kogalymavia Metrojet Russian passenger jet, which disappeared from raider after requesting an emergency landing early 31 October, crashing in the mountainous al-Hasanah area of central Sinai. The black box has been recovered at the site. Authorities believe all onboard perished in the crash. EPA/MOHAMMED HOSSAM
People arrange candles to make a cross to commemorate 224 victims of a Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt, on the stairs of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, November 1, 2015. An Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet, carrying 224 passengers crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt's Sinai peninsula on Saturday shortly after losing radar contact near cruising altitude, killing all aboard. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a day of national mourning for Sunday. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - RTX1U9UO
An Egyptian soldier stands guard as emergency workers unload bodies of victims from the crash of a Russian aircraft over
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Amr Nabil—AP
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"What were they hoping for? Just to hit tourism?” The Times quoted Sisi as saying. "No, but also to hit relations. To hit relations with Russia."

[NYT]

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