International prosecutors investigating the downing of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine say the missile that hit the plane was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels, media reports said.
A report by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) confirmed the missile that downed the plane was brought in from Russia and fired from rebel-controlled territory during the conflict in eastern Ukraine, The Independent reported.
“It may be concluded MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 missile launched by a Buk, brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and that after launch was subsequently returned to the Russian Federation,” Wilbert Paulissen, a senior Dutch police official said.
“The conclusion is that MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile launched from a site around 6 km south of the village of Snizhne,” he added.
They traced the convoy carrying the Buk, originally with four missiles, from the Russian border through the cities of Donetsk, Torez, Snizhne and on to the launch site, hours before MH17 was downed.
Pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops were fighting for control of the region at the time of the incident.
Ukraine has accused Russian-backed militants operating in the area for shooting the missile, while Russia and the rebels it supports have said Ukrainian forces were responsible.
On July 17, 2014, all 283 passengers and 15 crew members on the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight were killed when their Boeing 777-300 was blown up by a surface to air missile over eastern Ukraine. There were 193 Dutch passengers on board.