Planes brought down by missiles

January 12, 2020

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PARIS: Iran on Saturday said its armed forces had unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian airliner which crashed outside Tehran. The ill-fated Boeing 737 crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crewmembers on board.

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

298 killed, Ukraine

July 17, 2014: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 are killed, including 193 Dutch nationals. The Kiev authorities and separatist pro-Russian rebels accuse each other of firing the missile that downed the flight.

11 killed, Somalia

March 23, 2007: An Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft belonging to a Belarusian airline is shot down by a rocket shortly after takeoff from Mogadishu, killing 11 people. The plane was transporting Belarusian engineers and technicians to the country to repair another plane hit by a missile earlier.

78 killed, Black Sea

October 4, 2001: 78 people, mostly Israelis, were killed when their Siberia Airlines Tupolev Tu-154, flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, exploded mid-flight over the Black Sea. A week later Kiev admitted that the disaster was due to the accidental firing of a Ukrainian missile.

290 killed, 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 Gulf shortly after takeoff by two missiles fired from a US frigate patrolling the Strait of Hormuz. The 290 passengers on board were killed. The United States paid Iran $101.8 million in compensation.

269 killed, Sakhalin

September 1, 1983: A Boeing 747 belonging to Korean Air (then called Korean Air Lines) was shot down by Soviet fighter jets over the island of Sakhalin, after veering off course. All 269 people on board were killed. Soviet officials acknowledged five days later that they had shot down the South Korean plane.

108 killed, Sinai Desert

February 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 allegedly acted after the Boeing flew over military facilities in the Sinai, then occupied by Israel. Israeli authorities claimed fighters opened fire when the plane refused to land.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2020