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Thu 5 Nov 2015 10:58 AM

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ISIL likely behind bomb on Russian plane, says British minister

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond advised Brits against travel through the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh

ISIL likely behind bomb on Russian plane, says British minister
British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond. AFP/Getty Images)

Britain said on Thursday there was a significant possibility that a group affiliated with ISIL was behind a suspected bomb attack on a Russian airliner that killed 224 people.

When asked if he thought ISIL militants were behind the disaster, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: "ISIL-Sinai have claimed responsibility for bringing down the Russian aircraft, they did that straight away after the crash.

"We've looked at the whole information picture, including that claim, but of course lots of other bits of information as well, and concluded that there is a significant possibility," he said on Sky television.

On Wednesday Britain said it believed there was a significant possibility that an explosive device caused the crash of a Russian plane in Egypt, and advised it citizens against travel through the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

"We have concluded that there is a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft," Hammond said after a meeting of the government's crisis response committee chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We are now advising against all but essential travel by air through Sharm el-Sheikh airport. That means that there will be no UK passenger flights out to Sharm el-Sheikh from now," he said.