UK: Bomb May Have Downed Russian Plane in Egypt

PM Cameron halts flights to Sinai Peninsula until security check is complete
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2015 12:19 PM CST
Updated Nov 4, 2015 12:33 PM CST
UK: Bomb May Have Downed Russian Plane in Egypt
British PM David Cameron walks outside 10 Downing Street in London on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

US officials have reported that the heat flash in the area where Metrojet Flight 9268 went down in Egypt may have been from a bomb—and the UK thinks that's an increasingly likely scenario, the AP reports. London is worried enough that it suspended flights to and from the Sinai Peninsula, with PM David Cameron's office saying Wednesday that "we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device." A Cameron rep tells the Guardian that the "precautionary measure" (not a ban on travel to the area) halting flights to and from the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh will give UK aviation experts heading there time to assess security at the city's airport and "to identify whether any further action is required." That assessment should be done by Wednesday night.

The Egyptian president has said that ISIS' claims it was behind the crash are "propaganda," and experts tell the AP that the militants don't have the firepower needed to take down a plane flying that high. But the news agency also notes an audio recording has been making its way across the Internet Wednesday, with the speaker saying the crash coincided with the anniversary of the pledge Egypt's ISIS affiliate made to the parent group. The AP adds it hasn't been able to verify the recording, but it says it sounds like other recordings the group has made. The British government says it realizes the canceled flights "may cause concern" for UK citizens vacationing in Egypt and that travelers should contact their airlines or tour operators, per the BBC. The UK's move may cause some discomfort Thursday between Cameron and Egypt's president when they meet, notes the Telegraph. (More Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi stories.)

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