The team reviewing the cause of the fatal crash of MH17 has said they have discovered what may be parts of an anti-aircraft missile near the site. Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels have blamed each other for the incident.
Dutch authorities investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 announced on Tuesday that they have found what could be parts of a Russian-made BUK missile at the site of the tragedy in eastern Ukraine.
The investigators in the Netherlands, with international assistance, were probing "several parts, possibly originating from a BUK surface-air-missile system," according to a statement from prosecutors and the Dutch Safety Board (OVV). The authorities had previously said they considered a missile strike the most likely cause of the crash, but Tuesday's announcement marked the first time they conceded possible tangible evidence of a missile.
The statement warned, however, that no conclusion can yet be made as there is only "a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17."
Members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which includes representatives from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Britain, Russia, and the United States, were meeting in The Hague to discuss the OVV draft report on the incident.
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MH17 came down last year over Ukraine's conflict-torn east, killing all 298 people on board the flight that was scheduled to fly to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. The majority of the victims were Dutch.
Kyiv and many in the West blamed pro-Russian rebels for shooting down the plane, and accused Russia of providing them with BUK missiles. The rebels and Moscow in turn pointed the finger at the Ukrainian army for the downing of MH17.
Last month, Russia vetoed a bid to the United Nations Security Council to establish an international tribunal to bring those responsible for the incident to justice.
es/rc (AFP, Reuters)