CAIRO • A Russian airliner crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula yesterday, killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members on board, officials said.
The passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off from Sharm El-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea resort in the Sinai Peninsula, with the wreckage found in the Hassana area of central Sinai.
The Airbus A-321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand Metrojet, was flying to St Petersburg, and most of the passengers on board were Russian holidaymakers.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft. "The fighters of ISIS were able to down a Russian plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders," said a statement by its supporters on Twitter. However, there was no official word on the reason for the crash.
The Egyptian authorities have found the black box - containing flight data - of the plane, which will facilitate the investigation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his deepest condolences to the families of victims of the crash. He has also declared today a day of mourning for the victims.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG