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MH370 search to end within two weeks

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Kuala Lumpur  – The search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is to end within two weeks, Malaysia’s transport minister said Friday despite relatives of passengers demanding an extension.

Liow Tiong Lai announced the search is in its final stages but said he still hoped for a breakthrough over the plane’s location.

“We are on the final lap within these two weeks. We hope we can find the plane. We pray hard that the search will bear fruit on how to locate MH370,” he told reporters.

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A girl write messages to passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 during a commemoration event in 2016, marking two years since the plane disappeared. The search for the missing flight is to end within two weeks, Malaysia’s transport minister said Friday, despite relatives of passengers demanding an extension.  ZUMA Wire (ARCHIVE)

MH370, which was bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board. Experts believe the plane went massively off course.

The Australian Transport Security Bureau is leading the investigation, which has been centred on 120,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean.

Liow said that a tripartite meeting with the Australian and Chinese governments would be held once the search is completed and a report produced.

“There are a lot of assumptions, we cannot base anything on assumptions. We need credible truth to look for the plane, so we are waiting for the final report,” Liow said.

The last search vessel set off to make a final sweep across the southern Indian Ocean last month.

The families of the passengers who vanished have been adamant that the search should continue, especially after some experts said investigators may be looking in the wrong place.

-dpa