Moscoew: Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed vengeance as Moscow yesterday confirmed that a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger jet over Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board.
A file picture dated Nov 1 shows the wreckage of the plane at the crash site in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Pics/AFP
Putin pledged to ramp up Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria in response to the attack but stopped short of blaming any one group as the country’s security agency announced a $50 million (Rs 330 crore) reward for information leading to capture of those responsible.
A group linked to IS had earlier claimed responsibility for downing the plane, and Russia had halted all flights to Egypt despite refusing to endorse growing suspicions in the UK and the US that the plane was blown up by a bomb. Putin did not expressly blame IS for the attack but pledged to step up air strikes in Syria.
“It is not the first time that Russia confronts barbarous terrorist crimes. The murder of our people is among the bloodiest crimes in terms of victims. We will not wipe away the tears from our soul and hearts.
Vladimir Putin, Russian President
This will stay with us forever but will not stop us from finding the criminals. We will find them in any part of the world and punish them,” Putin said.
The reward offered by Russia for information on Sinai plane attackers.
Russia’s security chief Alexander Bortnikov said “A homemade explosive device equivalent to 1 kg of TNT went off onboard, which caused the plane to break up in the air, which explains why the fuselage was scattered over such a large territory.”
“We can say unequivocally that this was a terrorist attack,” Bortnikov added.