Britain says likely that separatists shot down Malaysia airliner

LONDON, July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:40pm EDT

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday that it was increasingly likely that separatists in eastern Ukraine had shot down a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 aboard.

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said the evidence suggested that separatists had shot down the airliner with a surface-to-air missile fired from Torez, in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

"We assess that, without compelling information to the contrary, it is increasingly likely that MH17 was shot down by a separatist missile," the spokesman said in a statement.

Ten British nationals on the plane were killed, he added. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)