Records show rebels downed airliner with surface-to-air missile

5 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, July 17 2014 Jul 17, 2014 Thursday, July 17, 2014 2:45:00 PM CDT July 17, 2014 in News
By: The Associated Press and James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's security services produced what they said were two intercepted telephone conversations that they said showed rebels were responsible for downing a Malaysian airliner.

In the first call, the security services said, rebel commander Igor Bezler tells a Russian military intelligence officer rebel forces shot down a plane Thursday.

In the second, two rebel fighters - one of them at the scene of the crash - say the rocket attack was carried out by a unit of insurgents about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the crash site.

One of the fighters, who states he is at the site of where the plane came to the ground, describes seeing scattered debris. He later describes finding the documents of somebody he identifies as an Indonesian national studying at "Thompson University."

The Associated Press reported neither recording could be independently verified. NBC News reported U.S. officials confirmed Thursday the airliner with 295 people on board was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

NBC reported U.S. officials were still trying to determine who fired the missile.

Malaysia Airlines said it lost contact with the plane, operating as flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur, near the Ukrainian border with Russia Thursday afternoon.

NBC News does not have confirmation of how many Americans, if any, were on board the 777 jet.

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