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Malaysian airliner loses contact over east Ukraine

A Malaysian airliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in east Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are battling government forces, Russian and Ukrainian news agencies reported, citing aviation and security sources.

The Boeing passenger liner, reported by the Interfax press agency of carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew, came down close to town of Shaktarsk in the rebellion-wracked region of Donetsk after disappearing from the radar and teams from the emergency services were trying to reach the scene, an unnamed security source told Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

An Ukrainian government advisor told Interfax everyone aboard died, according Dutch press agency ANP.

The Associated Press cited an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister as saying that the plane was shot down by a missile fired from a Buk launcher.

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Airport groundstaff walk past Malaysia Airlines planes parked on the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on June 17. Malaysia Airlines confirmed late yesterday that flight MH70 lost contact in east Ukraine last night. There are reports that the plane was shot down. (AFP)

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