Air Algerie flight AH5017 broke apart when it hit the ground, French investigators have concluded.
The finding suggests the cause of the crash is unlikely to have been an attack.
"We think the aircraft crashed for reasons linked to the weather conditions, although no theory can be excluded at this point," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told RTL radio.
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The flight, conducted mainly for research purposes, lasted 19 hours and 19 minutes.