Clashes erupt near MH17 crash site in Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:28PM GMT
Ukrainian troops have engaged in clashes with pro-Russia forces to gain control over several towns around the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine's military said on Monday that its troops have entered the towns of Shakhtarsk and Torez, located in the eastern province of Donetsk.
It also announced that battles continue between the Ukrainian army and pro-Moscow activists in the cities of Pervomaysk and Snizhne, situated in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions respectively.
According to latest reports, international investigators have failed to reach the plane crash site for a second day, and have been forced to turn back amid explosions.
'They (Investigators) have returned in the direction of Donetsk,' media outlets quoted Dutch Justice Ministry spokeswoman, Sentina van der Meer, as saying.
Authorities in Lugansk and Donetsk said that at least 8 people were killed in Monday's fighting and shelling in the two volatile regions.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was reportedly shot down over Donetsk on July 17, when it was flying from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing 298 passengers and crew on board.
Pro-Russia forces are in control of the area where the plane crashed. Kiev and the pro-Russians accuse each other of firing a surface-to-air missile at the passenger plane.
Ukraine launched military operations in Donetsk and Lugansk in mid-April to crush pro-Russia forces there. Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.
The United Nations says at least 1,129 people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in eastern Ukraine.
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