Egyptian investigators have fit together some of the fragments of a Russian passenger jet that crashed over Sinai last October and identified the area where the plane's disintegration most likely began, the commission probing the crash said Thursday.
The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the October crash, which killed all 224 on board, saying it had smuggled a bomb onto the plane.
Russia said a bomb destroyed the airliner, which was en route to Paris from Sharm El-Sheikh and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi suggested in February that the plane was downed due to "terrorism." The investigating committee looking into the causes of the crash has yet to release a report.
"The committee has concluded that a specific part is most likely to have been [the point] where the plane's body began to come apart," a statement by the committee said
Members of the investigation commission and representatives of countries taking part in the probe met Thursday to draw up a preliminary report about the latest findings.
Russia is taking part in the investigation as the airline's country of origin, Germany as the manufacturer, France because it is where the plane was designed, Ireland as the country where plane was registered, and the United States as the engine-maker's country of origin.
"Accurate and specialised laboratory studies will be conducted on parts of the wreckage identified by the assembly process, which will help reach most likely causes for the disintegration of such parts," the statement added.