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Russian Plane Black Boxes Point to “Attack”
International

Russian Plane Black Boxes Point to “Attack”

Black box data from the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt last week indicate it was bombed, sources said, ahead of a first update on Saturday from the Egyptian-led probe into the disaster.
Both the flight data and voice recorders failed 24 minutes after the plane took off from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort en route to Saint Petersburg on October 31, when it plummeted from the sky into the Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 people on board, AFP reported.
Cairo and Moscow initially dismissed a claim Islamic State terrorists downed the plane, but mounting evidence that the Airbus A321 was attacked has prompted a growing list of governments to warn against travel to Sharm el-Sheikh.
On Friday, President Vladimir Putin ordered all Russian flights to Egypt halted, in a fresh blow to the country’s already struggling tourism industry.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told news agencies the measure did not mean Moscow believed the crash–the worst aviation disaster in Russia’s history–was due to an attack, and the investigation continued.
The head of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said Russian experts had taken samples from the crashed jet and were testing it for any traces of explosives.
But a source close to the investigation said the black box data “strongly favors” the theory a bomb on board brought down the plane.
Another person close to the case in Paris said the plane had suffered “a violent, sudden” end, saying: “Everything was normal during the flight, absolutely normal, and suddenly there was nothing.”

  Security Was Horrendous
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s office said he called Putin and they agreed to bolster coordination to “strengthen security measures for Russian planes”.
Nearly 80,000 Russian tourists are estimated to have been stranded in Egypt by their government’s decision to halt flights.
Those that did get out were forced to leave their check-in baggage behind to be transported separately after London ordered airlines to allow hand luggage only.
Egypt’s aviation minister said the restrictions on flights were imposed because the airport could not cope with all the luggage left behind.
“I think a lot of people will question whether they ever want to go to Egypt again,” said human resources manager, Nicky Bull, as she arrived back in Britain on board one of the eight flights that made it out.
Ben Khosravi, 27, who was on another flight, said that “the security at Sharm was horrendous”.

  Russia Slams Charlie Hebdo
French satirical cartoons depicting the Sinai plane crash have drawn fierce criticism from Russians. One official even went so far as to call them “sacrilege.”
A Kremlin spokesman on Friday condemned the cartoons, published in the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which made light of the recent plane crash in Egypt that killed all 224 people on board, most of them Russian.
“In our country we can sum this up in a single word: sacrilege,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“This has nothing to do with democracy or self-expression,” he added.
One cartoon depicts a skull surrounded by debris and body parts, as the wreckage of the plane smolders in the background. A caption reads: “The dangers of Russian low-cost airlines.”
The second cartoon shows a passenger and debris from the plane falling through the air, as a caricature of a militant ducks for cover underneath. The cartoon is titled: “Daesh: Russian aviation intensifies bombardments.” Daesh is an alternative term for IS that is used increasingly in France.

 

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