U.N. aviation task force on conflict zones to meet August 14-15

Tue Aug 5, 2014 11:37am EDT

Forensic experts look at a makeshift marker denoting evidence during recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Forensic experts look at a makeshift marker denoting evidence during recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region August 4, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

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(Reuters) - The safety task force formed by the U.N. civil aviation body after the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine will meet for the first time Aug. 14-15 in Montreal, the organization said on Tuesday.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced the task force on flights in conflict zones last week, as airlines and industry groups said they needed better safety information.

The task force's findings will be submitted to a special meeting of ICAO's governing council "within weeks," the agency said. The ICAO cannot open or close airspace in conflict zones, and does not offer specific guidance on where missiles might threaten civil airliners.

The United States has said pro-Russian separatists probably shot down the Malaysian airliner last month by mistake with a Russian-made missile. The rebels and Moscow have blamed the downing on Kiev's campaign to quell the separatists' uprising.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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