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Fighting hampers MH17 crash investigation

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 01:49

Aug.3 - Fighting in east Ukraine forces international investigatators to stop work at one of the crash sites of the downed Air Malaysia jet. Sarah Toms reports.

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Ukrainian forces are making advances into pro-Russian rebel held areas in the east of the country. The army surrounds the area where a Malaysia airliners was downed last month. International investigators are there searching for human remains. Heavy fighting and shelling makes their work both difficult and dangerous. The wreckage from the crash is spread over kilometres. Work continues over much of the site but in one area a team was forced to leave because the fighting was too close. . (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALEXANDER HUG, DEPUTY HEAD OF THE OSCE, ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE'S MONITORING MISSION IN UKRAINE, SAYING: "Our estimation it was as close as 2km from where we were. It's hard to estimate when it's that close, but it was close enough to determine that it is not worth to stay on, therefore we decided to return and get back to the base. We were not at any moment at immediate risk, but if the shelling would've come close then it would have happened, therefore we decided to retreat, not to jeopardise the security of our experts and my colleagues who were accompanying me." MH17 went down with nearly 300 people on board. The US and Ukraine say the separatist fighters probably shot down the jet by mistake with a missile but rebels deny the claim. Ukrainian forces have intensified fighting since the plane crash and recaptured all but two rebel strongholds. The rebellion began in April after Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a popular uprising. It will take time for the investigation to be complete but the wounds of war will take longer to heal.

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Fighting hampers MH17 crash investigation

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 01:49