Missing Malaysian plane was deliberately flown towards Andaman Islands

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missing-Malaysian-planeKUALA LUMPUR: Military radar-tracking evidence suggests a Malaysia Airlines jetliner missing for nearly a week was deliberately flown across the Malay peninsula towards the Andaman Islands, sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters on Friday.

Two sources said an unidentified aircraft that investigators believe was Flight MH370 was following a route between navigational waypoints — indicating it was being flown by someone with aviation training — when it was last plotted on military radar off the country’s northwest coast.

The last plot on the military radar’s tracking suggested the plane was flying toward India’s Andaman Islands, a chain of isles between the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, they said.

Waypoints are geographic locations, worked out by calculating longitude and latitude, that help pilots navigate along established air corridors.

A third source familiar with the investigation said inquiries were focusing increasingly on the theory that someone who knew how to fly a plane deliberately diverted the flight, with 239 people on board, hundreds of miles off its intended course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

“What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijack still on the cards,” said that source, a senior Malaysian police official.

All three sources declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media and due to the sensitivity of the investigation.

Officials at Malaysia’s ministry of transport, the official point of contact for information on the investigation, did not return calls seeking comment.