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Egypt: No Evidence Terrorism Caused Russian Plane Crash

  • VOA News

FILE - The tail of a Metrojet plane that crashed in Hassana, Egypt on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

FILE - The tail of a Metrojet plane that crashed in Hassana, Egypt on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

Egypt issued a preliminary report Monday saying its investigators have found no evidence of terrorism in the October 31 crash of a Russian plane in the Sinai Peninsula that killed 224 people.

A statement from the civil aviation ministry said the probe into what caused the crash is continuing, but that so far there was nothing to indicate terrorism or some other illegal act.

Russia and Western nations, including the United States, have said an explosive device placed on board the Airbus plane brought it down. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility and released pictures of what it said was the bomb.

The Metrojet flight took off from the popular Sharm al-Sheikh resort area, and the crash has affected tourism with both Russia and Britain responding by suspending flights to Egypt.

Islamic State said it took down the flight in retaliation for Russia's air campaign in Syria, which began in late September. Russia has drawn criticism from Western governments that say it is conducting airstrikes to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and not to combat the militant group. The Pentagon noted after the crash that Russia's targets appeared to be more focused on Islamic State.

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