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Violence keeps crews from MH17 crash site

Kiev - Fighting between Kiev forces and pro-Russian separatists on Tuesday prevented international investigators reaching the MH17 crash site in Ukraine for the third day running, the Dutch justice ministry said.

“The group of Dutch and Australian experts did not leave Donetsk for the crash site in east Ukraine. There is currently too much fighting on and around the road to the crash site,” the ministry said in a statement.

An armed pro-Russian separatist is seen at the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site near the village of Hrabove, in Ukraine's Donetsk region. Picture: Maxim Zmeyev. Credit: Reuters

Kiev said on Monday its troops had entered a string of towns around the scene of the July 17 Malaysian airliner disaster in eastern Ukraine, including Shakhtarsk which lies 10km away.

The Dutch and Australian police mission needs access to the site to recover the remains of some of the 298 victims still lying in the fields.

Over 200 bodies have already been recovered and sent to the Netherlands for identification. The Netherlands and Australia were home to most of the citizens on the flight, which the West alleges was brought down by separatist rebels.

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