Sisi pledges transparent plane crash probe

Passengers board an Egyptair Express plane bound for Cairo at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport, south Sinai, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.

Passengers board an Egyptair Express plane bound for Cairo at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport, south Sinai, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged a transparent probe into the Russian plane crash and cautioned against hasty conclusions, during a visit Wednesday to the airport from where the doomed aircraft took off.

Foreign governments including Britain believe a bomb probably brought down the plane on October 31 after it took off from the airport of Egypt’s Sinai coastal resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group which commands an affiliate in Sinai claimed it downed the plane, killing all 224 people on board.

Sisi, who has dismissed the claim as “propaganda”, said on his surprise visit to Sharm al-Sheikh that only the official probe could determine the cause.

“I wish no one had rushed ahead of the results of the investigation,” Sisi said in comments aired on Egyptian television.

“We will deal with this matter with utmost transparency and integrity,” he said on his symbolic visit to the airport at the center of theories that a bomb was planted on the Russian plane.

Meanwhile, members of a Russian search and rescue team that was brought to Egypt after Russian plane crash have left the country to return to Moscow, the Associated Press reported.

The team of 48 left on Wednesday. It had been recovering bodies at the crash site in Sinai’s Hassana area.

Other Russians remain in Egypt as part of the investigation committee seeking to determine the cause of the crash. U.S. and British officials have cited intelligence reports as indicating the passenger plane was likely downed by a bomb on board.


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