The Hague: In what may be the first physical evidence linking a missile to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last year in Ukraine, Dutch investigators on Tuesday claimed having stumbled upon fragments of Buk missile at the crash site.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 with 298 people aboard was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine`s war zone on July 17, 2014
It has been repeatedly being claimed that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile - a Russian surface-to-air missile.
Last month a CNN report also revealed that an investigative report authored by the Dutch Safety Board, has found pro-Russian rebels responsible for shooting the plane down.
The report has not been officially released and is to come by October-end this year.
Though the investigators have previously said that a missile strike is the most likely explanation for the crash, they have never revealed that they are in possession of possible missile parts.
The investigators, who are spearheading an international criminal probe into the crash of MH17, said that the fragments can “possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17."
However, they cautioned that the conclusion cannot yet be drawn "that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17."
Prosecutors will now enlist the help of weapons and forensics experts to further investigate the suspected missile parts, said spokesman Wim de Bruin. He declined to give more details of the parts that are under investigation.
The parts were found during Dutch recovery missions to the crash site. Dutch authorities have conducted several missions to the site to recover human remains, victims' belongings and parts of the downed Boeing 777.
With Agency Inputs