Ukrainian rebels admit to downing MH17

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Malaysian Airlines
Kiev, July 18: According to recordings of intercepted phone calls between Russian military intelligence officers and rebels, pro-Russian separatists admit to have downed the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed Thursday over Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Friday.

According to the SBU, one phone call was made 20 minutes after the plane crash by Igor Bezler, a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, to a Russian security officer, Vasili Geranin, the Kyiv Post reported.

"We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk region)," Bezler is recorded as saying.

The second intercepted conversation released by the SBU was apparently between militants nicknamed "Major" and "Greek" immediately upon inspection of the crash site.

"It's 100 percent a passenger aircraft," Major is recorded as saying, as he admitted to seeing no weapons on site.

"Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper."

In the third intercepted conversation, Cossack commander Nikolay Kozitsin was talking to an unidentified militant who suggested that the MH17 could have been carrying spies, as, otherwise, it would have no business flying in that area.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound Malaysia Airlines MH17 passenger plane crashed Thursday near the Russian border, in eastern Ukraine's Donestsk region, with all the 298 passengers and crew members on board reportedly killed.

The flight took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport to Kuala Lumpur.

IANS

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