IS releases picture of bomb it says downed Russian airliner

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 file photo, Debris of a Russian airplane is seen at the site a day after the passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg, Russia, crashed in Hassana, Egypt. The Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt was brought down by a homemade bomb placed on board in a "terrorist" act, the head of Russia's FSB security service told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. (AP Photo, File)

CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group has released a photo of the bomb it says was used to bring down a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last month, killing all 224 people on board.

This undated image made available in the Islamic State's English-language magazine Dabiq, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, claims to show the bomb that was used to blow up a Metrojet passenger plane bound for St. Petersburg, Russia, that crashed in Hassana, north Sinai, Egypt, killing all 224 people on board. (Militant photo via AP)
This undated image made available in the Islamic State’s English-language magazine Dabiq, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, claims to show the bomb that was used to blow up a Metrojet passenger plane bound for St. Petersburg, Russia, that crashed in Hassana, north Sinai, Egypt, killing all 224 people on board. (Militant photo via AP)

The picture was published in the latest issue of the extremist group’s English-language magazine, with the caption “EXCLUSIVE – Image of the IED used to bring down the Russian airliner.”

The picture showed a yellow can of Schweppes Gold, a non-alcoholic beer marketed in Egypt, and what appeared to be other bomb components made of plastic and metal. It also published a picture of what it said were passports belonging to people who died in the plane crash.

The extremist group, which has a powerful affiliate in the Sinai, had previously claimed to have downed the plane, which was mainly carrying Russian tourists without offering further details. It said the attack was to avenge Russia’s air campaign against the group in Syria.

Russia’s FSB security service said Tuesday that a bomb brought down the plane. Most of those onboard were Russian tourists. Western officials had earlier said they suspected a bombing.

Egyptian authorities have declined to comment on what caused the crash, saying a multi-national investigation is still underway.

Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Egypt understands the Russian people’s pain. Egypt’s presidential spokesman Alaa Yousef confirmed the two leaders spoke by phone Wednesday in a statement that made no mention of a bombing.

Suspicions that a bomb caused the crash have led to flight cancellations to and from Egypt and dealt a major blow to its vital tourism industry.

The U.K. banned flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, where the plane had taken off, on Nov. 4. Russia banned all flights to Egypt a day later, and last Friday it banned Egypt’s national carrier from flying to Russia.

 

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