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Plane crash
 

Russia suspends Egypt flights, waiting to confirm real reasons of the crash

Vladimir Putin suspended all Russian flights to Egypt, while Moscow investigates whether a bomb inside the plane is to blame.

FUENTES BBC AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus CAIRO 06 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2015 17:50 h
Airbus A321 was flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg when it came down in Sinai

Russia has ordered the suspension of all flights to Egypt following indications that the crash near Sharm el-Sheikh was caused by a bomb.



President Vladimir Putin made the announcement after UK investigators said they believed a bomb was put in the plane's hold prior to take-off, killing all 224 people on board.



“I think it will be reasonable to suspend all Russian flights to Egypt until we determine the real reasons of what happened,” Russian intelligence chief Alexander Bortnikov said in televised comments shortly before the Kremlin announced the suspension. “It concerns tourist flights most of all.”





19,000 WAITING TO GO HOME



The UK has suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and is bringing Britons home. Thousands of holidaymakers, 19,000 from the UK, remain stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh.



Many Britons were due to return on Friday but one of the main airlines operating from the resort, Easyjet, says its plans have been sharply curtailed by the Egyptian authorities, with only two of its 10 flights leaving.



Egyptian Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal denied banning any flights, but said there was an issue of "capacity" at the airport, with extra security and more planes than usual.



The first Easyjet flight left shortly before 13:00 local time for Gatwick, with the second heading for Luton an hour later. Passengers on the flights that were disrupted have described being sent back through security and told to return to their hotels.



 



Many pray for the victims in Moscow





A BOMB INSIDE THE PLANE



UK investigators looking at what caused a Russian airliner to crash in Egypt, believe a bomb was put in the hold prior to take-off, the BBC has learned.



New intelligence was received on Wednesday. The UK government's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has spent the past few days assessing what brought the plane down.



In fact, UK officials said they had received that intelligence based on intercepted communications between militants in the Sinai Peninsula, indicating an explosive device may have been put inside or on top of the luggage just before the plane took off.



 



OTHER COUNTRIES REACTIONS



Russia had previously suggested the UK was pre-judging the outcome of the investigation when it and Ireland suspended flights on Wednesday to and from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The UK prime minister, David Cameron, has said it was “more likely than not” a bomb brought down the Metrojet Airbus A321-200.



US President Barack Obama told a CBS radio station on Thursday that he thought there was "a possibility" that there was a bomb on the downed jet.



France, Germany and Belgium are advising their citizens not to travel there, and the Netherlands is warning against travelling via Sharm el-Sheikh airport.



 



BAD FOR EGYPT AND RUSSIA



Egypt is leading the investigation into the air disaster, with the help of Russian and other foreign experts.



 



Soldiers work in the crash scene



Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who has been on a visit to the UK, told reporters that security at the airport was tightened 10 months ago at the UK's request.



For the Egyptians the stakes are obvious: Sharm el-Sheikh and the wider tourism industry are crucial elements of its economy. This episode has punctured the long-held Egyptian narrative that Sharm el-Sheikh is insulated from the wider chaos in the Sinai.



For the Russians, an attack linked to Daesh is also problematic. It is the declared target of its air operations in Syria, but in reality Russian warplanes have largely been striking other rebel groups.



 



224 PEOPLE DIED



The Metrojet Airbus A321 was flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg when it came down in Sinai on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board. Most of the victims were Russian.



Militants from the Sinai Province group, linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS), have not said how they destroyed the plane. IS has called for a war against both Russia and the US over their air strikes in Syria.



Daesh may now find itself in Russia's sights. But if they did bring down the airliner, this could exacerbate concerns amongst Russian public opinion that their country's engagement in Syria is provoking some unpleasant blow-back.


 

 


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