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UPDATE: Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine

 

 

UPDATE: State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says the U.S. is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine. She said Secretary of State John Kerry is aware of the reports of a crash of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine. Psaki did not confirm reports that a number of U.S. citizens were aboard the plane. Ukrainian officials claim the Boeing 777 was brought down by a ground-to-air missile. Psaki refused to speculate on those claims. Two-hundred-80 passengers and 15 crew members are thought to be dead.

 

UPDATE: A rebel leader is claiming that Ukrainian forces shot down a Malaysian airliner today about 25 miles from the Russian border.  Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials continue to insist their military was not involved in the horrific crash that apparently claimed the lives of all 295 people on board.  A Ukrainian interior ministry official says pro-Russian militants used a ground-to-air missile to bring down the Boeing 777.  There are reports of body parts scattered on the ground at the scene of the fiery crash.  

UPDATE: A Ukrainian interior ministry official is pointing the finger at pro-Russian militants after a Malaysian airliner crashed in the eastern part of the country today.  The official blamed "terrorists" who used a ground-to-air missile to bring down the Boeing 777 about 25 miles from the Russian border.

UPDATE: There are reports of body parts scattered on the ground at the scene of a horrific plane crash in eastern Ukraine.  Ukrainian officials say at least 100 bodies have been located.  

UPDATE: Ukraine's Interior Minister is reportedly claiming that a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet was downed by a Buk missile fired by separatists.  The tracked surface-to-air missile system was developed by the former Soviet Union, and is much beefier than shoulder-mounted Stinger missiles.  Russian arms have been slowly infiltrating Ukrainian territory after Ukraine's pro-Russian president was ousted in favor of a government that's friendlier with the West. 

Original story:

Up to 295 people are believed dead in a passenger plane crash in eastern Ukraine.  Reports out of the region suggest the Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky.  Malaysia Airlines confirms it has lost contact with Flight MH 17 which had been en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.  The Ukrainian air force has lost several planes in the region in the past few days, including a fighter jet that Russia stands accused of downing.  Video shot near the scene shows a massive column of dark smoke reaching into the sky near the apparent crash site.  

PHOTO: Getty Images

 

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