PHUKET: Malaysia's military has traced what could have been the jetliner missing for almost five days to an area south of Phuket, hundreds of miles to the west of its last known position, the country's air force chief said yesterday.

His statement followed a series of conflicting accounts of the flight path of the Boeing 777-200ER with 239 people on board, which left authorities uncertain even which ocean to search in for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The last definitive sighting of the aircraft on civilian radar screens came shortly before 1:30am on Saturday, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, as it flew northeast across the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand bound for Beijing.

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