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Author Topic: In Reversal, Egypt Says Terrorists Downed Russian Jet Over Sinai  (Read 164 times)
xht
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February 25, 2016, 04:08:34 AM
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After months of cautious silence, Egypt acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that terrorists had downed the Russian jetliner that broke up over the Sinai Peninsula in the fall.

The authorities made the unexpected admission after strongly urging Egyptians and the world for months to await the results of an international investigation Egypt is leading. The crash dealt a serious blow to Egypt’s vital tourism industry: an important source of hard currency for the country, which relies heavily on imports.

“Those who downed the flight, what were they hoping for? Just to hit tourism?” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi asked, almost casually, while on the subject of terrorism near the end of a long speech about the country’s development plans for 2030, which was broadcast live. “No, but also to hit relations. To hit relations with Russia.”

Hours after the October downing of the Airbus A321-200, which killed 224 people, Egypt’s local Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility. The group said it had brought down the plane with a bomb concealed in a soda can.

In the following weeks, Russian and Western officials quickly concluded that a bomb had indeed exploded on board and that terrorism was the cause of the crash. But Egypt, apparently unwilling to publicly concede that terrorists could have penetrated its powerful security apparatus, continued to rule out a bombing. In the most recent update on the Egyptian investigation, on Dec. 14, the government’s chief investigator, Ayman al-Muqaddam, said he had not received “any evidence of unlawful interference or terrorist activity” in connection with the crash.

The Russian aircraft disintegrated in the air over the Sinai Desert 23 minutes after taking off from the popular Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh on Oct. 31. The flight was a charter operation by Metrojet, a Russian airline taking its passengers, nearly all of them Russian tourists, to St. Petersburg.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/world/middleeast/in-reversal-egypt-says-terrorists-downed-russian-jet-o.html?ref=world

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February 25, 2016, 05:05:15 AM
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Perhaps now they can process the compensation payments for the victims' families? Earlier they were claiming that it was the fault of the airline (Kogalymavia), and Egypt has no responsibility over the deaths. But now we know that the deaths were resulted from the incompetence and carelessness of the Egyptian authorities.

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