Investigators Turn Back from MH17 Site
Published: July 30, 2014 (Issue # 1822)
Heavy fighting raged Monday around theáMalaysia Airlines debris field, once again preventing anáinternational police team charged with securing theásite fromáeven getting there.
Government troops have stepped up their push toáwin back territory fromápro-Russian separatists ináfighting that theáUnited Nations said Monday has killed more than 1,100 people ináfour months.
Theáinternational delegation ofáAustralian andáDutch police andáforensic experts stopped Monday ináShakhtarsk, aátown about 30 kilometers fromáthe fields where theáBoeing 777 was brought down.
Sounds ofáregular shelling could be heard fromáShakhtarsk andáresidents were seen fleeing town inácars.
Theámandate ofáthe police team is toásecure theácurrently rebel-controlled area so that comprehensive investigations can begin andáany remaining bodies can be recovered.
Theásecond canceled site visit over two days has strained tempers among theáobservation team.
ôThereĺs aájob toábe done,ö said Alexander Hug, theádeputy head ofáa monitoring team fromáthe Organization foráSecurity andáCooperation ináEurope. ôWe are sick andátired ofábeing interrupted byágunfights, despite theáfact that we have agreed that there should be aácease-fire.ö
TheáDefense Ministry says Ukrainian troops have entered Shakhtarsk, although checkpoints blocking theáwestern entrance intoátown remain under rebel control. It also said fighting was taking place ináSnizhne, which lies directly south ofáthe crash site, andáin other towns ináthe east.
Theáself-declared Donetsk Peopleĺs Republic said onáits official Twitter that fighting was ongoing ináthe village ofáRozsypne, where some ofáthe wreckage still lays strewn andáuncollected.
Theáhead ofáthe rebelĺs military headquarters, Igor Ivanov, told Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that theávillage had fallen intoágovernment hands, but that information could not immediately be confirmed.
Ukraine has accused rebels ofátampering with evidence atáthe plane crash site andátrying toácover up their alleged role inábringing theáMalaysia Airlines jet down with anáanti-aircraft missile.
Separatist officials have staunchly denied responsibility foráshooting down theáairliner andákilling all 298 people onboard.
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