Pro-Russian Rebels Set Landmines at MH17 Crash Site, Investigators Fail to Reach Location Again
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 31, 2014 1:19 PM EST
Officials found it more difficult to investigate the MH17 crash site as reports emerged that there were landmines placed near the location. Ukraine warned on Wednesday, July 30 that pro-Russian separatists might have set landmines near the crash site to prevent investigators from reaching the spot.
Flowers and mementos left by local residents lie on wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region in this July 19, 2014 file photo.
International observers had to move back as one more effort of having a transparent investigation of the accident went in vain. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down by rebels backed by the Russian government, killing 298 people on board. The separatists control the location where the plane crashed but has so far denied taking the responsibility of the missile attack.
It has been four days since the officials from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are trying to reach the crash site. However, they have not been able to reach the spot yet for various external reasons. The Dutch officials had to go back to Donetsk after they had a discussion with the rebels. Even though the accident took place two weeks back on July 17, the rebels has so far made sure that nobody is able to reach the spot for investigation.
The National Security and Defense Council in Ukraine earlier said that the "terrorists" had laid landmines and set up firing positions on the road that led to the crash site. Andriy Lysenko, the security spokesman of Ukraine, expressed concerns about the situation. "This makes the work of the international experts impossible," he said. The investigators later called off their trip to the crash site due to "unsafe conditions" even though there was no mention of the landmines in their statement.
A team from CNN was able to reach the site on Wednesday itself only to find neither investigators nor rebels at the location. There was no Ukrainian soldier either. A teddy bear and some flowers were placed by strangers. There was "tomb-like silence" at crash site that represented "a monument to cruelty," CNN reported.
Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au
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