1. all 224 on board, including 17 children were killed, when a Metrojet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh bound for St Petersburg when the Airbus A321 crashed into the Sinai desert.
  2. Images of the wreckage show that the plane was almost completely destroyed.
  3. The cause of the crash remains unknown and claims of responsibility from Islamic State have been dismissed by Russian authorities.
  4. Families of the passengers have gathered at St Petersburg airport as bodies begin to arrive back in Russia.


This is the statement from a group claiming to be speaking on behalf of Islamic State, posted on their affiliate site, translated by our correspondent in Cairo, Jahd Khalil.


Breaking: Shooting down of Russian airplane, killing of more than 220 Russian crusaders on board.
Soldiers of the Caliphate were able to shoot down a Russian plane above Sinai Province with at least 220 Russian crusaders aboard. They were all killed, praise be to God. O Russians, you and your allies take note that you are not safe in Muslims lands or their skies.


The killing of dozens daily in Syria with bombs from your planes will bring woe to you. Just as you are killing others, you too will be killed, God willing.



Many experts have expressed scepticism that groups operating in Sinai have the capacity to bring down an airline from the height it was travelling.



The Guardian