Moscow confirms bomb downed Russian airliner in Egypt

Ben Brennan and agencies

The Kremlin said for the first time that a bomb did bring down a Russian passenger plane that crashed over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.

"One can unequivocally say that it was a terrorist act," Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia's FSB security service, told a meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin, according to a transcript published on the Kremlin's web site.

Russian media has reported the bomb was likely placed in the plane by a Sharm el-Sheikh airport baggage handler.

Reports are now emerging suggesting Egyptian authorities have arrested two workers from the airport.

There have been mixed reports in the weeks since the reports with some downplaying the role of terrorism in the fatal crash.

Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the disaster, releasing video they claimed showed the plane crashing to earth.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin vowed to find and punish the attackers who brought down the Airbus plane in Sinai last month, in remarks released by the Kremlin Tuesday.

"We will search for them anywhere they might hide. We will find them in any part of the world and punish them," Putin told FSB security chief Alexander Bortnikov late Monday, calling the attack "one of the bloodiest crimes".

Russia's security chief told Putin the was downed due to a "terror attack," the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

"One can say unambiguously that it was a terror act," the head of the FSB security agency, Alexander Bortnikov, told Putin in a meeting the day before.

Citing experts, he said the plane disintegrated in midair due to a bomb with the equivalent of a kilo of TNT.

News break – November 17