Dutch prosecutors have said for the first time that they have found possible parts of a BUK missile system at the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down last year, killing all 298 people on board. Prosecutors say in a statement today the parts "are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17." Prosecutors have previously said they are treating a missile strike as the most likely scenario, but today's announcement was the first time they have described possible physical evidence of a missile.
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." Reuters reports the Dutch Safety Board is currently in possession of the parts. The BBC in June quoted Russian defense firm Almaz-Antey as having assessed shrapnel damage and concluding a BUK missile that it ceased manufacturing in 1999 was used to bring down the flight. "The concern and its companies could not have supplied these missiles to anyone in the 21st century," said the firm's CEO at the time, suggesting, as the Russians have done many times, that Ukrainian forces, not pro-Russian rebels, brought down the plane. (Read more Malaysia Airlines MH17 stories.)