Ukraine MH17: Forensic scientists reach jet crash site

Ukraine MH17: Forensic scientists reach jet crash site

A Ukrainian army vehicle escorts OSCE cars in Donetsk region on Thursday
International forensic scientists have reached the site of the flight MH17 crash in east Ukraine after the government halted military operations.

Australian and Dutch police experts arrived in a convoy of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors.

Fighting between government and rebel forces had prevented them getting there for nearly a week.

Australia believes that around 80 bodies remain at the crash site.

Explosions were reportedly heard near the site after their arrival.

A journalist for AFP news agency heard several “powerful” blasts and saw a plume of smoke less than 10km (six miles) from the crash site.

Russian aviation experts are also in Ukraine, hoping to visit the site.

The Malaysia Airlines plane crashed on 17 July in eastern Ukraine, with the deaths of all 298 people on board.

The rebels deny that they shot it down with a missile by mistake.

Officials in Russia, which has been accused by the US and others of supplying the rebels with advanced weaponry, suggest that Ukraine’s own armed forces downed the jet – a charge rejected by Kiev.

Russia has come under increased pressure to end its support for the rebels despite having continually denied claims that it is arming and training them.

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