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article imageExplosion might have brought down Russian jetliner over Sinai

By Nathan Salant     Nov 5, 2015 in World
London - Britain confirmed Wednesday that the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt after taking off the Sinai Peninsula might have been brought down by an explosive device.
The admission marks the first time Western experts have acknowledged that the Russian airline-operated jet carrying 224 people could have been brought down by an external party, rather than by a mechanical or other failure on board.
No passengers or crew members survived the crash of the Airbus A321 airliner, 23 minutes after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh on a flight from Sinai to St. Petersburg, Russia, according to the Reuters news service.
The airline flew north and had reached cruising altitude when some kind of catastrophe struck and the plane crashed near the Sinai city of Hassana.
"While the investigation is still ongoing we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed," British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said in a statement.
"But as more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device," the statement said.
Flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to England were suspended Wednesday until aviation experts from London arrived to join the investigation, Reuters said.
"We would underline that this is a precautionary step and we are working closely with the airlines on this approach," the statement said.
The Red Sea port of Sharm el-Sheikh, which was returned to Egypt by Israel as part of the 1979 Camp David peace accords, is a popular vacation destination for Russians and other Europeans.
Israel captured the peninsula in the 1967 Middle East war.
The Islamic State terrorist group that has seized large portions of Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for downing the jet, a claim initially rejected by the United States and other Western nations as unlikely.
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