Russia begins to evacuate its tourists from Egypt

Moscow, Nov 7 (IANS) About 10 special flights have departed for Egypt to bring home about 80,000 Russian tourists currently stranded there, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Saturday.

“According to the latest data, there are some 80,000 people. The number is reducing, because there are scheduled flights from all the three cities, Cairo, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, to Russia,” Dvorkovich was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The Egyptian military is now providing additional security measures for the evacuation at the country’s airports, Dvorkovich added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered all of his country’s scheduled flights to Egypt to be suspended amid rising speculation that terrorist attacks were possibly behind the Russian plane crash on the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, which killed all 224 people on board.

The Kremlin stressed that the suspension of flights did not mean Russia believes a terrorist attack was the cause of the plane crash.

As several U.S. media reports cited unnamed sources as saying that a planted bomb might have caused the crash of the Russian plane, Britain, Ireland and many other countries have suspended their flights to and from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh over terrorism concerns.

An Egypt-led investigation group, with experts from Russia and France, is working on the cause of the plane crash.

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