Iran missile blamed for Ukrainian jet crash: Other planes shot down since 1973

Rescue workers at the site of a Ukraine International Airlines crash on the outskirts of Teheran, Iran, on Jan 8, 2020. PHOTO: NYTIMES

PARIS (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Thursday (Jan 9) said he had "suspicions" about the cause of the Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 747 crash outside Teheran on Wednesday.

Britain and Canada meanwhile said they had received information suggesting the doomed airliner with 176 passengers and crew on board was hit by an Iranian missile.

Here is a recap of other planes hit by missiles over the past four decades.

1. Ukraine - July 17, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 were killed, including 193 Dutch nationals.

The Kiev authorities and separatist pro-Russian rebels, who are battling for control of eastern Ukraine, accuse each other of firing the missile that downed the flight.

2. Somalia - March 23, 2007

An Ilyushin II-76 cargo aircraft belonging to a Belarussian airline is shot down by a rocket shortly after take-off from the Somalian capital Mogadishu, killing 11 people. The plane was transporting Belarusian engineers and technicians who had travelled to the country to repair another plane hit by a missile two weeks earlier.

3. Black Sea - Oct 4, 2001

Seventy-eight people, mostly Israelis, were killed when their Russian Sibir Tupolev-154, flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, exploded in mid-flight over the Black Sea. The crash happened less than 300km from the Crimean coast. A week later, Kiev admitted that the disaster was due to the accidental firing of a Ukrainian missile.

4. Persian Gulf - July 3, 1988

An Airbus A-300 belonging to Iran Air, flying from Bandar Abbas in Iran to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, was shot down in Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf shortly after take-off by two missiles fired from a US frigate patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, apparently mistaking it for a fighter aircraft. The 290 passengers on board were killed. The United States paid Iran US$101.8 million in compensation.

5. Sakhalin - Sept 1, 1983

A South Korean Boeing 747 of Korean Air was shot down by Soviet fighter jets over the island of Sakhalin, after veering off course. Some 269 passengers and crew members were killed. Soviet officials acknowledged five days later that they had shot down the South Korean plane.

6. Sinai Desert - Feb 21, 1973

A Libyan Arab Airline Boeing 727 flying from Tripoli to Cairo was shot down by Israeli fighter jets over the Sinai desert. All but four of the 112 people on board were killed. The Israeli air force intervened after the Boeing flew over military facilities in the Sinai, then occupied by Israel. The Israeli authorities said fighters opened fire when the plane refused to land.

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