UN Security Council calls for independent probe on downed plane

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:05am EDT

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Friday called for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the downing of a Malaysian airliner with 298 people on board over Ukraine, urging all parties to grant investigators access to the site.

In a statement agreed by consensus, the council also called for "appropriate accountability." Britain drafted the short text and hoped the 15-member council could issue it on Thursday, but Russia requested more time to review it before it was agreed.

Two U.S. officials have said Washington strongly suspects the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was downed by a missile fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)