International experts reach plane crash site in east Ukraine - OSCE

by Reuters
Thursday, 31 July 2014 11:46 GMT

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KIEV, July 31 (Reuters) - The OSCE security and rights organisation said its monitors, accompanied by Dutch and Australian experts, reached the crash site of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, two weeks after the plane came down.

Fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces in the wider area has frustrated international experts' efforts to get to the site to recover remains of the victims and investigate the crash.

"OSCE... monitors reach MH17 crash site for first time in almost week, accompanied by four Dutch, Australian experts. Used new route to access," the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said on Twitter.

The small reconnaissance team would make initial checks of the area, a statement from the Dutch mission said.

"They will now only do initial reconnaissance, so that they can start searching as soon as possible during a later visit," it said.

Most of the international experts remained in the nearby provincial capital of Donetsk, now the main rebel stronghold in the east.

Kiev and the rebels accuse one another over the downing of the plane, which killed all 298 on board. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Kiev, Aleksandar Vasovic in Donetsk, Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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