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Ukraine air force strikes 30km from plane crash site despite ban - reports

Published time: July 22, 2014 09:25
Edited time: July 22, 2014 13:56
Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees search for bodies amongst the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees search for bodies amongst the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Tensions are running high near the Malaysia plane crash site after the Ukrainian military carried out an attack 30 kilometers away. The rumble of "Grad" RM systems can be heard in the vicinity - all despite the 40-kilometer ceasefire zone.

Ukrainian Su-25 fighter detected in close approach to MH17 before crash - Moscow

Ukrainian militia hand over MH17 flight recorders to Malaysia

The latest attack involved “Grad” RM systems, which shelled an area some 50 kilometers from the plane crash site, an Ria Novosti news agency reporter said from the scene.

It was not clear who the RM systems belonged to.

Earlier on, the Ukrainian air forces carried out a missile strike in 30 kilometers from the MH17 crash site – despite the 40-kilometer ceasefire.

About 11.30 local time (8.30 GMT), two Ukrainian military planes, thought to be Su-25s, were spotted in the skies above the town of Shakhtersk, which is 30 kilometers from the crash site.

Missiles hit a field near the town - one of them exploded 200 meters from a check-point, according to a Ria Novosti correspondent.

A crater was seen at the spot of the explosion. As yet, there have been no reports of any victims.

On Monday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a ceasefire within a radius of 40km from the crash site of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 in Donetsk Region.

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Dutch experts arrived in Ukraine to inspect the train containing the bodies of the plane crash victims – they are later set to join the investigation at the crash site, along with Malaysian experts who are also there.

A group of 12 Malaysian experts and officials witnessed an artillery attack from Ukrainian forces on their way to Donetsk on Monday, according to the militia in the east.

The refrigerator train carrying the bodies of victims of the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash arrived in the city of Kharkov in eastern Ukraine, destined for the Malyshev Factory, a state-owned manufacturer of heavy equipment. All investigations were to take place in the government-controlled city of Kharkov.

The first plane carrying the bodies of victims of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine will arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced.

“Tomorrow the first plane will leave for Eindhoven,” Rutte told journalists. “As soon as some victims are ready to be transported, the plane will leave,” the PM said, as cited by the AFP.

The Malaysian Boeing crashed on July 17 in the Donetsk region - all 298 passengers and crew on board died. Kiev authorities accused the militia of the catastrophe.

However, the militia stressed that they don’t possess the means to shoot down an aircraft at such an altitude.

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that they detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. The Ministry asked the Ukrainian government to explain why a military plane was tracking a passenger jet.

At the moment of the tragedy, an American satellite was flying over the area of eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

It called on Washington to publish the space photos and data captured by it.