The Islamic State in Egypt has claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian civilian plane, which crashed moments after it went missing in Egypt's Sinai region on Saturday. 

There were said to be 217 passengers and seven crew members on board when Egypt's air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft, according to reports. Egyptian officials have reportedly said that there are no survivors at the site of the crash.

Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail has confirmed that the Russian plane crashed near Nekhel in the north of Sinai, and has set up a cabinet level crisis committee to investigate, according to AFP. 

 [Was Russian plane shot down by Isis?]

The Russian airline Kogalymavia flight was on its way to Russia after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea. Most people on the plane were Russian tourists, and there were at least 17 children on board. 

Russia's RIA news agency has now reported that the plane developed technical problems and the pilot had sought to make an emergency landing in Cairo. 

According to reports, the plane crashed in a mountainous area. 

"Military planes have discovered the wreckage of the plane... in a mountainous area, and 45 ambulances have been directed to the site to evacuate dead and wounded," the Egyptian cabinet said in a statement. 

Local media had reported that the plane has crashed, while other news agencies were citing Egyptian officials saying that the plane had left the national airspace safely. 

The Sinai Peninsula region in Egypt has been restive for the past several months, with increasing Isis attacks reported in the area.

Russia began conducting airstrikes against Isis targets in Syria on 30 September.