MH17 Crash Investigators Stopped By Fighting

Officials sent to collect the remains of victims of flight MH17 have abandoned plans to access the crash site, as fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine reportedly left 22 people dead.

Investigators from the Netherlands and Australia had also been due to retrieve the belongings of the 298 people who were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down earlier this month.

They were forced to call off their visit because of clashes between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels on the road leading to the crash site nearGrabovo, according to the Dutch justice ministry.

It is the third day in a row the experts have been unable to carry out their work.

Around 60km (37 miles) away in Horlivka, 17 people, including three children, were killed by shelling, the mayor’s office said.

Further east in Luhansk, five people were reportedly killed when a care home was struck by artillery fire.

Russian TV showed bodies in wheelchairs covered with blankets.

Earlier, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, urging him to halt hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

“We want to get to the crash site as quickly as possible to get to the victims and to bring them home,” a spokesman for Mr Ruttesaid.

“Mr Poroshenko said he will do everything possible to make access possible.”

The continuation of fighting comes as EU leaders meet to finalise further sanctions against Russia over its alleged backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The planned move, designed to block Russian banks’ access to European banks, was met with trepidationby oil giant BP, which warned economic restrictions could have an “adverse impact” on its own finances.

Moscow denies claims it has supplied military equipment and reinforcements to rebel fighters.

More than 100,000 people have now fled unrest in eastern Ukraine, according to the United Nations.

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29 July 2014 | 11:03 am – Source: orange.co.uk

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