Malaysian plane with 295 passengers shot down in Ukraine

A Malaysian airliner with 295 people on board has been shot down in Ukraine near the Russian border killing all passengers and crew on board. The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines said it had lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukraine, it said in a tweet.
An aviation source in Moscow told Reuters the plane had been found burning on the ground in east Ukraine, where separatist rebels have been fighting government forces.
Reports confirm that the plane was shot down late yesterday, threatening to escalate tensions in Europe’s worst geopolitical crisis since the Cold War.
Regional air-traffic manager Eurocontrol has now routed all planes away from the area astride a busy flightpath between Europe and Asia, as Malaysian authorities defended the use of a route that wasn’t blacklisted.
A number of Ukrainian military planes have been shot down by missiles in recent weeks. Ukraine has accused Russia’s military of supplying advanced missiles to the rebels.
Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian officials blamed the Russian air force for shooting down one of its ground attack jets on Wednesday.
Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the plane had been hit by a missile at an altitude of 10,000m (33,000ft). The claim could not be verified independently.
The source which spoke to Reuters about burning wreckage on the ground said the plane had failed to enter Russian airspace.
The UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the reports of the crash and was “urgently working to establish what has happened”.

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