Egyptian president slams IS claims over Airbus crash as 'propaganda'

Egyptian president slams IS claims over Airbus crash as 'propaganda'

Egypt’s president, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, today described claims that militants linked to Islamic State (IS) brought down a Russian aircraft as "propaganda".

He told the BBC that it was too early to say what had caused the crash.

The Airbus A321 broke up over the Sinai peninsula on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board.

The Airbus crashed 23 minutes after taking off from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh en route to St Petersburg.

The airline, Kogalymavia, yesterday blamed "external influence" for the crash.

The head of Russia's Federal Aviation Agency, Aleksandr Neradko, told Russian TV that such talk was premature and "not based on any proper facts".

President Sisi also warned against jumping to conclusions, telling the BBC: "All those interested in the matter are welcome to participate in the investigation.

"When there is propaganda that it crashed because of Isis, this is one way to damage the stability and security of Egypt and the image of Egypt.

“Believe me, the situation in Sinai - especially in this limited area - is under our full control."

The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said there was no "direct evidence of any terrorist involvement yet" adding: "It's unlikely, but I wouldn't rule it out."

The IS affiliate known as Sinai Province had issued a written statement and an audio message saying that it brought down the passenger jet.


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