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MH17: Crash investigation thwarted by heavy fighting in Ukraine's restive east

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MH17: Crash investigation thwarted by heavy fighting in Ukraine's restive east


With heavy fighting raging around the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has met the foreign ministers of the Netherlands and Australia.

The jetliner came down over ten days earlier but on several occasions conflict in the area has thwarted the Dutch and Australian experts charged with securing the site from carrying out their work.

Some bodies have yet to be recovered and with no thorough investigation possible for the first ten days after the crash, the site has been forensically compromised.

Pieter Jaap Aalbersberg, Head of MH17 Recovery mission said the search for the victims would recommence on July 29.

“Tomorrow (July 29) the search for victims will be our main priority,” he said. “If the experts find remains, they will be recovered immediately. We will be using a refrigerated train wagon near Torez. If the train is inaccessible for whatever reason, we will arrange other transport.”

The violence has forced the OSCE investigation team to leave the area. However, some flight data has been recovered, which seems to show the plane was punctured multiple times by shrapnel before crashing. United Nations Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay says the downing of the aircraft may constitute a “war crime”.

The crash site lies around 30 kilometres north of the main rebel-held city of Donetsk in Ukraine’s restive east.

Ukrainian armed forces are reportedly trying to gain control of the area.

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