" --IANS/ITAR-TASS"
Kiev, July 31 (IANS/ITAR -TASS) Observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) along with four Dutch and Australian experts arrived at the crash site of the Malaysian passenger airliner in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, the OSCE mission in Ukraine said in a statement Thursday.

OSCE observers have for the first time in almost a week arrived at the MH17 jet crash scene and they are escorted by four experts from the Netherlands and Australia, the statement said, adding that the observers and the experts reached the site using a new route.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman stated earlier in the day that local militias in the Donetsk region stopped the OSCE observers and the experts from visiting the crash site.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed July 17 in the Donetsk region, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The dead included 193 Dutch nationals and 27 Australians.

Reports indicated that the Boeing 777 crashed after being hit by a missile. US President Barack Obama said initial investigations showed that the missile was fired from an area in Ukraine controlled by anti-Kiev militants.

Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the Ukraine's southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which proclaimed their independence in May following local referendums.

--IANS/ITAR-TASS

ab/vm


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