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.
A video released by the group showed that a plane was suddenly caught on fire and fell down, but the video cannot be verified for the moment.
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said that military planes have spotted the wreckage of the Russian plane in central Sinai with 224 passengers and crew members on board.
Meanwhile, a statement released by the Russian embassy in Cairo said the plane carried 212 passengers and seven crew members, all of whom were killed in the crash.
The aviation ministry said the wreckage was found in Hassana, a mountainous area 35 km south of Arish city.
About 50 ambulance were deployed to transfer the casualties, in coordination with the armed forces, the ministry said, adding that most of the passengers are Russian nationals.
Security forces in the region are searching for the black box.
The plane vanished from radar shortly after taking off from the Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh, on its way back to the Russian city of St Petersburg, Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency reported.
The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, took off at 5:51 a.m. (0351 GMT) and disappeared from radar 23 minutes after taking off, the report said.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has ordered the formation of an emergency operations room to investigate into the crash.
The Russian Emergency Ministry also formed a teamwork to follow up the investigation.
Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online news website quoted earlier an official as saying that the crash was caused by a “technical failure” and the plane was not shot down. Enditem