Egypt's Sisi says Russian plane was brought down by terrorists

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the opening ceremony of the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that the Russian plane that crashed in Sinai last year was downed by terrorists seeking to damage Egypt's tourism industry and relations with Moscow.

"Has terrorism ended, no it has not but it will if we unite. Whoever downed the Russian plane, what did he mean? He meant to hit tourism, and to hit relations with Russia," Sisi said in a televised speech.

The comments were the first official Egyptian indication that the plane was deliberately downed. Russia had already said that a bomb was to blame but Egypt had said it had yet to find evidence of foul play.

(Reporting by Mostafa Hashem; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Lin Noueihed and Alison Williams)