The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for bringing down the Russian Metrojet plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula — but it has offered no evidence and is not known to have the capability to do so according to reports by Yahoo! News.
It is not clear what caused the plane crash Saturday morning that killed 224 people on the flight from Egypt to St. Petersburg. Egyptian officials say the pilot reported technical difficulties and wanted to make an emergency landing. The Metrojet crashed in an area where Egyptian forces have been battling an Islamic insurgency.
Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov has scoffed at the IS claim, telling the Interfax news agency that such reports “must not be considered reliable.”
Militants in northern Sinai have not to date shot down any commercial airliners or fighter jets but there have been media reports that they have acquired Russian shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles. These missiles, however, are only effective against low-flying aircraft or helicopters.
Earlier on Saturday, Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top investigative body, opened an investigation into the crash looking out for possible violations of flight safety procedures.
Meanwhile, the black box that was aboard the Russian aircraft crashed on Saturday over Sinai was found at the crash site, according a statement of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry. Bodies of at least 100 people, including 5 children, have been also found at the crash site.
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kemal said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash ruling the plane had been shot down or blown up.