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Egypt's leader acknowledges Russian plane that crashed in Sinai downed by terrorists

February 24, 17:33 UTC+3 CAIRO
Whoever downed the Russian plane, he meant to hit tourism and relations with Russia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

© EPA/ANDY RAIN/POOL

CAIRO, February 24. /TASS/. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has for the first time acknowledged that the Russian A321 plane that crashed in Sinai last October was downed by terrorists.

"Whoever downed the Russian plane, what did he mean? He meant to hit tourism, and to hit relations with Russia," al-Sisi said in a televised speech on Wednesday.

The A321 plane belonging to Russia’s air company Kogalymavia was en route from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg in Russia (flight KGL 9268) when it crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early on October 31 last year. The plane fell near El Hasna populated locality 100km to the south of Al-Arish, the administrative center of the North Sinai Governorate (province). All the 224 people onboard, including 217 passengers and the 7-member crew, died. The passengers, most of whom were Russians, also included four Ukrainians and one citizen of Belarus.

Following the crash, Russia suspended air service with Egypt. In mid-November FSB head Alexander Bortnikov reported to the Russian president that the crash was a terrorist attack carried out with the use of an explosive device.

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