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Iran missile may have caused Boeing plane crash, Canadian prime minister says

The Boeing 737 aircraft that crashed in Iran this week amid increased military tensions in the region was likely brought down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Jan. 9, citing intelligence from multiple sources including government allies.

"This may well have been unintentional," Trudeau said as he called for a thorough and credible investigation into the Jan. 8 crash, which killed all 176 people on board the plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines. The fatalities include 63 Canadians.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed Trudeau's statement, saying "there is now a body of information that the flight was shot down" by an Iranian missile.

Earlier in the day, several media outlets cited U.S. officials in reporting that a missile strike by Iran may have downed the aircraft, a departure from initial reports suggesting that mechanical failure may have caused the crash. The reports pushed Boeing Co. shares higher, ending the trading day up 1.5%.

U.S. President Donald Trump also expressed doubts that mechanical issues caused the crash. "Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side," Trump said Jan. 9 at the White House, without offering details or evidence.

The Boeing aircraft, which was bound for Ukraine, crashed in Iran shortly after takeoff. The incident took place after Iran fired ballistic missiles Jan. 7 at Iraqi airbases hosting U.S. military, in retaliation for an airstrike that killed a top Iranian military commander last week.

Trump previously signaled a move toward de-escalation of tensions with Iran, which he said appeared to be "standing down" from further retaliatory attacks.

The Ukrainian jet was a Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft. The beleaguered 737 MAX jets, a variant of the 737 line, remain globally grounded following two fatal accidents in October 2018 and March 2019.