Ukraine Says Malaysian Airliner Shot Down Near Russian Border

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Bswi_6uCYAAeO62Ukrainian rebels shot down a Malaysian jet carrying 295 people over eastern Ukraine near its border with Russia, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official said.

The Boeing 777 flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur was hit by a missile and went down near the eastern town of Torez, Ukrainian Interior Minister adviser Anton Gerashchenko said on his Facebook page. The plane was carrying 280 people and 15 crew, he said.

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UPDATE FROM KIEV:

KIEV – A Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The aircraft, which other sources said was a Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, came down near the city of Donetsk, stronghold of pro-Russian rebels, Anton Gerashchenko said, adding that it was hit by a ground-to-air missile.

There was no further confirmation of the report, although Ukrainian officials said local residents had found wreckage.

Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed it had lost contact with its flight MH-17 from Amsterdam. “The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace,” it said.

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UPDATE REUTERS:

(Reuters) – A Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said.

Raising the stakes in the East-West showdown between Kiev and Moscow, the official blamed “terrorists” using a ground-to-air missile and Ukraine’s prime minister called the downing of the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a “catastrophe”.

A Reuters correspondent saw burning wreckage and bodies on the ground at the village of Grabovo, about 40 km (25 miles) from the Russian border in an area where pro-Russian rebels have been active and have claimed to have shot down other aircraft.

The Boeing 777 came down near the city of Donetsk, stronghold of pro-Russian rebels, interior ministry official Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook, adding it was “shot down with a Buk anti-aircraft system by terrorists” – the term the Kiev government uses for militants seeking to unite eastern Ukraine with Russia. The dead were 280 passengers and 15 crew.

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