By Iliya Kure
Russian Investigators say the wreckage of its downed Airbus A321 and passengers’ belongings contain traces of explosives, concluding that the plane was attacked by terrorists.
Kremlin Press Service quoted Head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov in a meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, saying, “One can definitely say that this was a terrorist act”.
Bortnikov said an improvised explosive devise with a capacity of up to 1 kilogram of TNT equivalent was on board the plane.
According to the transcript provided on Kremlin Press Website, Putin said Russia’s military operations in Syria must be expanded, “so that criminals realize that retribution is inevitable”.
“We will find the terrorists anywhere on earth and punish them,” Putin said.
A Russian aircraft flying from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg on October 31, crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 passengers on board.
Following a recommendation from the FSB, Russia banned all its flights to Egypt and began evacuation of about 70, 000 Russian tourists who were in Egypt at the time.
Soon after the crash, ISIS had claimed responsibility of bombing the plane, but Russia denied the claim. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov had previously declined to comment for what he described as “an abundance of false information” and “hoaxes.”