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Friday July 25, 2014
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A piece of the wreckage is seen at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in the village of Petropavlivka (Petropavlovka), Donetsk region, July 25, 2014. — Reuters picA piece of the wreckage is seen at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in the village of Petropavlivka (Petropavlovka), Donetsk region, July 25, 2014. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Shrapnel-like holes resembling machine-gun shots have been detected on the wrecked fuselage of the Malaysia Airlines plane recovered from its Ukraine crash site, which official investigators say strongly point to the use of a missile to bring down Flight MH17.

However, the team of international investigators with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are uncertain if the missile used was fired from the ground as US military experts have previously suggested, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

In its report, the New York-based daily observed that “some air-to-air missiles also are designed to destroy an aircraft with a shrapnel-producing warhead”.

The MH17 crash investigators would have a higher chance of identifying the missile model and type used if they find and chemically analyse the actual shrapnel pieces, WSJ suggested.

Earlier this week, defence analyst Reed Foster told the New York Times (NYT) that the MH17 plane was likely torn apart by shrapnel from a missile that exploded near it rather in directly hitting it.

The assessment was based on photographs taken by NYT photographers, of the holes on the pieces of wreckage at the crash site.

In the Gallery


  • A saxophonist plays 'Amazing Grace' at a vigil for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Lyudmila Vorobyeva (2nd left), Russian ambassador to Malaysia, attends a special parliamentary session convened to discuss the MH17 tragedy at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Men light candles at a vigil for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman prays at a vigil for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Rozsypne, Donetsk region, July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A guard stands on a train carrying the remains of victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine after it arrived in the city of Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • US President Barack Obama signs the book of condolence for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster at the Embassy of the Netherlands, as Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Mollema watches in Washington on July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak delivers a speech during a special parliamentary session convened to discuss the MH17 tragedy at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard as monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) inspect the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, July 22, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Youths hold placards and Malaysian flags during a Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 solidarity gathering outside Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman writes a message on a dedication board for the victims of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Women look at messages on a dedication board for the victims of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A transport plane that will be used to carry some of the remains of the victims of Flight MH17 is parked on the tarmac before heading to the Netherlands at Kharkiv airport July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • People load coffins carrying some of the remains of the victims of Flight MH17 to a transport plane that will be heading to the Netherlands at Kharkiv airport July 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A member of the public writes a message for the victims on board the MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Former Malaysia Airlines stewardess Malar Meni Perumal breaks down while attending a candlelight vigil for the victims on board the MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A woman lights a candle during a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Members of the public light candles during a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Members of the public light candles during a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A woman holds a candle during a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Members of the public hold a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Members of the public hold a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Members of the public hold a candlelight vigil for the victims on board MAS flight MH17 in Bangsar, on July 24, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Foster, who is attached to defence consultancy IHS Jane’s, was cited saying the shrapnel marks were consistent with a hit from a fragmenting warhead, such as that of a surface-to-air missile.

The NYT report also noted that it was impossible to identify the exact missile model based on the photographs.

American officials believe the missile belonged to the SA-11 class of weapon, an old but powerful anti-aircraft system also known as Buk in Russian that was widely used in the 1970s Soviet era that could go up to 25,000 metres, far surpassing the 10,000-metre altitude at which Flight MH17 was flying when it was downed on July 17.

Ukraine has claimed that pro-Russia separatists had downed the plane using the Buk missile, but the Ukraine rebels denied owning such equipment.

Russia has also pointed the fingers at Ukraine.

The Boeing plane carrying 298 people on board was terminated in mid-air over conflict-ridden Ukraine, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17.

There were no survivors on the Flight MH17.



 

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