Malaysia defends search for missing jet

AP
Chinese relatives of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane wait for the latest news inside a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing airplane in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. The missing Malaysian jetliner may have attempted to turn back before it vanished from radar, but there is no evidence it reached the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia’s air force chief said Wednesday, denying reported remarks he said otherwise. The statement suggested continued confusion over where the Boeing 777 might have ended up, more than four days after it disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

By CHRIS BRUMMITT and EILEEN NG

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities defended their handling of the hunt for the missing Boeing 777 on Wednesday even as they acknowledging they were unsure which direction the plane was headed when it disappeared, highlighting the massive task facing an international search mission now in its fifth day.

The mystery over the plane’s whereabouts has been confounded by confusing and occasionally conflicting statements by Malaysian officials, adding to the anguish of relatives of the 239 people on board the flight — two thirds of them Chinese.

“There’s too much information and confusion right now. It is very hard for us to decide whether a given piece of information is accurate,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing. “We will not give it up as long as there’s still a shred of hope.” Continue reading on The Associated Press…

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