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|Wednesday, October 10, 2001, updated at 08:43(GMT+8)|
Experts Believe Russian Plane Shot Down by MissileExperts investigating the recent crash of a Russian TU-154 airliner in the Black Sea claimed that they had discovered fragments of an S-200 anti-aircraft missile in the plane's wreckage, Interfax reported Tuesday.
The agency quoted an expert on condition of anonymity that " there are serious reasons to believe that there are fragments of an S-200 missile in the plane's wreckage."
"But only a state commission can make a final conclusion," he said.
A Russian Tu-154 airplane, on route from Tel Aviv to Russian Siberian city of Novosibirsk, went down into the Black Sea coast off Russia on October 4, killing all 77 people on board.
An investigation group, including experts from Russia, Ukraine and Israel, is working to determine the cause of the tragedy.
Some western reports said just after the crash that the plane was shot down by a missile of Ukrainian defense units, which were conducting exercises in the nearby Crimean Peninsula. Both sides soon denied the version, saying it was too premature to draw a conclusion.
But recent Russian reports said traces of shrapnel -- stuffing of the S-200 -- were believed to be discovered in the holes on the fuselage and other parts of the wreckage, once more highlighting the missile version.
There still has no official comment from Russia on the latest development of the issue, while the Ukrainian government denied the allegation.
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