Ukrainian official: Passenger plane shot down

A Malaysia Airlines aircraft at London Heathrow Airport. (Scott Barbour, Getty Images)
(File) (Scott Barbour, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/17 12:43 pm

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Malaysian Airlines plane has apparently been shot down over eastern Ukraine.

A Ukrainian official says a passenger plane with 295 people aboard was shot down over a town in the country's east. And Malaysian Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights over Ukrainian airspace.

An adviser to Ukraine's interior minister said on his Facebook page that the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet. He said it was hit by a missile fired by a type of launcher that can fire missiles as high as 72,000 feet.

The government in the Donetsk region of Ukraine says the plane crashed near a village called Grabovo, which it said is currently under the control of armed pro-Russian separatists.

The region has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and the separatists in recent days.

Yesterday evening, Ukrainian officials say, a Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane. It adds to what Ukraine says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

 

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