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Egypt refutes Daily Mail claim that a rocket was fired at British plane

On Friday, the Daily Mail published an article saying that in August a British plane carrying 189 passengers came 'within 1,000ft' of a rocket as it approached Sharm El Sheikh

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 Nov 2015
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid (Al-Ahram)
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid (Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's foreign ministry described a report  by The Daily Mail newspaper claiming that a British passenger plane "had been seconds" from being struck by a rocket as it approached the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh last August  as "preposterous allegations."

On Friday, the Daily Mail reported that a British plane carrying 189 passengers came 'within 1,000ft' of a rocket before the flight "took evasive action after the pilot spotted the missile speeding through the air".

The newspaper also said that the 189 holidaymakers on board the flight were not made aware of the incident.

"Preposterous allegations by @MailOnline regarding UK plane 'avoiding Egyptian missile' in August are completely inaccurate," Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said on his Twitter account on Sarturday.

"The Incident involved GROUND-TO-GROUND fire exercise in military base few km off Sharm airport, no ground-to-air firing involved whatsoever.

"Egypt & UK [governments were] fully aware that [the] plane was in no danger. Airliners were previously informed of military exercise and instructed of procedures," Abu Zeid added.

The Daily Mail's allegations come in the aftermath of the crash of a Russian passenger plane, shortly after leaving Sharm El-Sheikh Airport last week.

The airliner crashed in central Sinai, around 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport. All 224 people on board were killed.

Media reports have suggested that the crash might have been a result of a bomb. However, the Egyptian head of the committee investigating the crash said at a Saturday news conference that it is still too soon to determine what caused it.

As a precautionary measure, Russia, Turkey and several European countries have suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and the United States has imposed new air travel security requirements.

 

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