Russia Brings Back 11,000 Tourists from Egypt in 24 Hours
About 11,000 Russian tourists have been evacuated from Egypt over the past 24 hours in the aftermath of the deadly Russian plane crash, according to official data, TASS reported on Sunday.
"Today, the number will be even higher," the Russian news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying.
Russian tourists are leaving Egypt without luggage, which will be delivered to them later on by regular flights, Dvorkovich added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the suspension of all passenger flights to Egypt on advice of FSB security service on Friday. The Airbus A321 plane of Russian airline Kogalymavia crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31 en route from Sharm el-Sheikh resort to St Petersburg. All 224 people on board Flight 9268 lost their lives.
Russians make up about a third of all foreign tourists in Egypt, most of them holidaymakers visiting Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada resorts.
Meanwhile, Egyptian investigators of the plane crash have told Reuters they were “90 percent sure’’ that the noise heard in the final second of a cockpit recording was a bomb explosion.
Egyptian militants affiliated to the Islamic State who are fighting Egyptian security forces in Sinai Peninsula, have claimed responsibility for bringing down the airplane but have not revealed how they had done this.
The suspicion that a bomb might have been involved centers to a large extent on reports about British and U.S. intercepts of chatter after the crash from the IS affiliate in Sinai to IS operatives in Syria.
Egypt is urging all the countries to share information about the crash, the head of the international commission looking into the possible causes, Ayman al-Muqaddam, has said.
"Reports have been appearing in the media and some of them referred to official intelligence sources that testify in favour of a certain scenario," al-Muqaddam told a news conference in Cairo on Saturday, according to TASS. "In connection with this, the commission states that it has obtained neither any information nor evidence related to the issue."
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