Russia Sceptical of IS Claim That it Shot Down Airliner Over Egypt: Minister

Moscow said that it was sceptical of claims by the Islamic State group\'s Egyptian affiliate to have downed a Russian passenger jet.

Published: 31st October 2015 09:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2015 01:06 AM   |  A+A-

By AFP

MOSCOW: Moscow said Saturday that it was sceptical of claims by the Islamic State group's Egyptian affiliate to have downed a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people onboard.

"This information cannot be considered accurate," transport minister Maksim Sokolov said in comments cited by Russian news agencies. "We are in close contact with our Egyptian colleagues and aviation authorities in the country. At present, they have no information that would confirm such insinuations," he added.

Also Read: Air France, Lufthansa Stop Sinai Overflights After Russia Crash

UPDATE:

Air France avoids flying over Sinai

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — The latest news on a Russian passenger plane that crashed Saturday on a flight from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia.

7:25 p.m.

French airline Air France has decided to avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula for safety reasons, following the crash of a Russian passenger plane in that region of Egypt.

A spokeswoman for the company said Saturday that Air France's flights will avoid the area pending the investigation "as a precaution, until further notice."

The airline will instead use other routes to the region's airports. The decision follows a similar move by Lufthansa announced earlier Saturday.

Also Read: Black Box of Crashed Russian Plane Found

Airline says crashed plane was in good shape 

CAIRO: The latest news on a Russian passenger plane that crashed Saturday on a flight from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia.

6:40 p.m.

The Russian airline whose plane crashed in the Sinai region on Saturday says the aircraft was in good shape and the pilot was experienced.

In a statement on its website, Moscow-based Metrojet says the A321 received required factory maintenance in 2014.

The statement identified the captain of the plane as Valery Nemov and said he had 12,000 air hours of experience, including 3,860 in A321s.

 

Egypt Says Russian Aircraft Crashes in Sinai, No Survivors

CAIRO: A Russian aircraft carrying 224 people crashed Saturday in a remote mountainous region in the Sinai Peninsula about 20 minutes after taking off from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

Egyptian military and security officials said there were no survivors from among the 217 passengers and seven crew members aboard the aircraft. Most of the bodies recovered so far from the site of the crash were burned, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt's civilian airports, said all passengers and crew were Russian citizens.

A civil aviation ministry statement said Egyptian military search and rescue teams found the wreckage of the passenger jet in the Hassana area some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of the city of el-Arish, an area in northern Sinai where Egyptian security forces have for years battled a burgeoning Islamic militant insurgency which is now led by a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group. Read more here.

Russian Plain Crash-AP13.jpg

Lufthansa Says it Will Stop Flying Over Sinai

CAIRO: The latest news on a Russian passenger plane that crashed Saturday on a flight from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia.

6:30 p.m.

Following the crash of a Russian plane in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, German airline Lufthansa says it will no longer fly across the area.

A spokeswoman for Lufthansa told The Associated Press that the company had decided in a meeting Saturday that the carrier would not fly over Sinai "as long as the cause for today's crash has not been clarified."

The spokeswoman said that "security is our highest priority." She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

For the time being, the airline will instead use detours for destinations in region. Read more here.

Also Read:

- Air Traffic Normal in Sinai Despite Plane Crash

- Did IS Outfit Down Russian Plane?

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