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Rebels in eastern Ukraine have handed over two flight-data recorders from the downed MH17 plane to Malaysian experts. A senior rebel leader signed them over to the Malaysian officials at a meeting in the city of Donetsk.

MH17 black boxes handed
MH17 black boxes handed

The handover came hours after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to demand immediate international access to the crash site.

The Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crashed last Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

Western nations say there is growing evidence that flight MH17 was hit by a Russian-supplied missile fired by rebels, but Russia has suggested Ukrainian government forces are to blame.

European Union foreign ministers are expected to discuss further measures against Russia later on Tuesday.

Both the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on Moscow following its annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

‘In good condition’

Experts say the “black boxes” will reveal the exact time of the incident and the altitude and exact position of the aircraft.

They should also contain the cockpit voice recorder, which it is hoped will provide clues as to what the cause of the crash was.

The head of the Malaysian delegation told reporters that the recorders were “in good condition”.

Pro-Russian rebels allowed a freight train carrying the bodies of 282 passengers to be moved from a town near the crash site to Donetsk on Monday.

The Malaysian experts and a Dutch delegation are travelling with the train to the city of Kharkiv, where it is expected to arrive later on Tuesday.

From there, the bodies will be prepared for transfer by air to the Netherlands where forensic experts will evaluate and identify them.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that process would be “painstaking” and was expected to take several weeks.

Meanwhile a UN resolution, proposed by Australia, was passed calling for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the downing of the plane over Grabove on 17 July.

It also demanded that those responsible “be held to account and that all states co-operate fully with efforts to establish accountability”

BBC 

UM– USEKE.RW

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