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Ukraine blames separatists

Ukraine is accusing pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet on Thursday.

Flight MH17 left Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur, carrying 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers. The Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine about 50 kilometers from the Russian border.

Video footage shows burning wreckage scattered in a wide area.

Of those on board, 154 were identified as Dutch. Nationals of 9 other countries, such as Malaysia and Australia, were also on the aircraft. The nationality of 41 people has yet to be confirmed.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the downing of the passenger plane an act of terrorism.
A senior Ukrainian interior ministry official said militants used a ground-to-air missile produced by the former Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists denied shooting down the aircraft. They told Russia's Interfax news agency that they have no weapons that can shoot down planes traveling at an altitude of 10,000 meters. They accuse the Ukrainian military of causing the incident.

The Ukrainian government says it will seek the help of experts from the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the United States in investigating the cause of the incident.

Jul. 18, 2014 - Updated 03:51 UTC