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FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2014 file photo, investigators examining a piece of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. The Dutch team investigating the downing of the Malaysian jetliner over Eastern Ukraine said Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, the crash was likely caused by the plane being hit by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft." The preliminary report published Tuesday by the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the Boeing 777 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, but its findings appear to point to that conclusion. (AP Photo/ Dmitry Lovetsky, file)

Shrapnel damage on Malaysia plane consistent with missile strike

Dutch prosecutors investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 believe the aircraft might have been shot down from the air but that a ground-to-air missile attack is more likely, a senior prosecutor said in a German media interview.

The Russian government has always said it has radar imagery proving the fully laden Boeing 777 was shot down by a Ukrainian military aircraft flying in its vicinity, but Western officials have never publicly accepted this scenario.

In an interview published by German newsmagazine Der Spiegel on Monday, prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said the Dutch would ask Moscow to provide the information that had led them to believe a Ukrainian aircraft was nearby.

"Based on the information available, a shooting-down by a ground-to-air missile is the most likely scenario, but we aren't closing our eyes to the possibility that it could have happened differently," Der Spiegel quoted him as saying.


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