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July 29, 2014 12:24

Fighting near Shakhtarsk deters intl experts' departure for Malaysian Boeing crash site - DPR

MOSCOW. July 29 (Interfax) - International experts were unable to travel to the site of the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on Monday because of fighting near the Ukrainian city of Shakhtarsk, a militia leader of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR), Miroslav Rudenko, told Interfax on Tuesday.

"Fierce fighting was taking place near Shakhtarsk yesterday. The international experts were unable to travel to the Boeing crash site, which is located in the immediate vicinity of this city, because of the armed clashes. Maybe, they will be able to do so today," he said.

Rudenko also said he is not aware of the current situation near the Malaysian Boeing crash site.

"So far, I do not have any information as to what is happening there today, whether or not fighting is underway there," he added.

International team head Peter Jap Albersberg said at a press briefing in Kyiv on late on Monday that experts from the Netherlands and Australia once again proved unable on Monday to gain access the site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine,

Regrettably, access to the crash site was impossible because of fighting near Shakhtarsk, he said. The team decided to return to Donetsk after consultations with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, he said.

The experts were disappointed that they were unable to access the crash site once again, he added.

Security guarantees should be given to the experts, he said.

The OSCE is currently working to secure access to the crash site and is holding consultations with the sides in the conflict, the official said.

The experts will attempt to reach the Boeing-777 crash site on Tuesday and assess the situation there, should the level of security permit, he said.

The team includes 38 Dutch and 12 Australian investigators, he said.

The international experts were unable to access the site of the Malaysian Boeing crash on Sunday due to continuing fighting in the area.

The Malaysia Airlines passenger airplane on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people, mostly Dutch and Australian citizens, onboard.


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