isisIslamic State, IS, has claimed responsibility for the crash yesterday of a Russian plane on Egypt’s Sinai, that killed more than 200 people on board, according to its statement posted online.

The Sinai-based group “Sinai State” that had announced loyalty to the IS said in a statement posted on Twitter that its militants managed to target the Russian plane and killed all its passengers.

It said the attack was in revenge for Russia’s military operations in Syria.

An unverified video released by the group showed a plane that suddenly caught fire and fell down.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said that military planes have spotted the wreckage of the Russian plane in central Sinai with 224 passengers and crewmembers on board. The ministry said the wreckage was found in Hassana, a mountain area 35km from South of Arish city.

But a statement by the Russian embassy in Cairo said the plane carried 212 passengers and seven crew members, all of whom were killed in the crash.

No fewer than 50 ambulance were used to transfer the casualties in coordination with the armed forces, the ministry said and noted that most of the passengers were Russian nationals.

The plane vanished from the radar 23 minutes after taking off from the Red Sea Resort Sharm el-Sheikh enroute St Peterburgs, state news agency, MENA.

Meanwhile, security operatives in the region were searching for the blackbox as at press time.

Already, the Russian government has declared that Saturday will be a day of mourning.

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