MH17: 1 of 5 commercial airliners shot down in aviation history

KUALA LUMPUR - The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 in Ukraine on July 17 last year is the fifth involving a commercial airliner in recent aviation history.

All 283 passengers and 15 crew on board the Boeing 777 aircraft perished in the tragedy.

The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, cruising at an altitude of 30,000 ft, when it was shot and crashed in a tense area of war-torn Ukraine near the Russian border.

The Russian and Ukraine governments have denied involvement in the incident.

The other four incidents were:

- In Feb 21, 1973 - 108 of 113 people aboard a Libyan Arab Airlines flight were killed when Israeli fighters shot down the Boeing 727-200 after it strayed into the airspace of the Sinai Desert, then under Israeli control.

- Sept 1, 1983 - 239 people aboard a Korean Air Lines flight bound from New York to Seoul were killed when the passenger jet was shot down by Soviet fighters during the Cold War. KAL Flight 007 veered off course and into Soviet territory, and a pair of fighter jets were dispatched to intercept the perceived intruder. US Rep Larry McDonald of Georgia was among the passengers. The downing resulted a huge outcry at the time, though the full facts did not become known until after the end of the Cold War.

- July 3, 1988 - In the volatile Persian Gulf, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air Airbus A300 bound for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. All 290 passengers and crew aboard were killed.

- Oct 4, 2001 - A Siberian Airlines Tupelov 154 headed from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Novosibirsk, Russia, was shot and plunged into the Black Sea, killing all 78 aboard, most of them Russian-born Israelis. The Ukrainian military denied at first but later admitted its military mistakenly shot down the plane during a training exercise.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded on Tuesday in its final report that MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile.

The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile.