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Investigators reach Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site

After nearly a week of fighting surrounding the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in restive eastern Ukraine, international investigators regained access on Thursday.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   July 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM

KIEV, Ukraine, July 31 (UPI) -- International investigators regained access to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site on Thursday, after nearly a week of rebel fighting in the area.

The Dutch Safety Board is leading the investigation, joined by investigators from Australia and representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on July 17 over an area of Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists. The Ukrainian government has been attempting to re-take control of the area, and entered into an agreement with Australia and the Netherlands to provide civilian police to secure the crash site.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced Tuesday the implementation of a unilateral cease-fire in a 20-kilometer radius of the crash site. According to the president's press service, Poroshenko "expects that the OSCE will use its influence on terrorists' ceasing fire in a 20-kilometer radius as well."

It is unclear whether the cease-fire facilitated the investigators' access to the crash site.

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