Rebel site suggests insurgents shot down Malaysia plane by mistake

A social media site attributed to a top Ukrainian rebel commander said the insurgents had shot down an army transporter at the location where a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed today near the Russian border.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 18, 2014, 03:24 AM IST

Kiev, Jul 17 (AFP) A social media site attributed to a top Ukrainian rebel commander said the insurgents had shot down an army transporter at the location where a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed today near the Russian border.

The comments by the top military commander of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People`s Republic" suggest the separatists had shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane by mistake, believing it was a large Ukrainian army transport plane.

"We just downed an An-26 near Torez. It is down near the Progress mine," said the VK page attributed to Igor Strelkov, which is frequently quoted by Ukrainian media.

The rebels shot down another An-26 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine on June 14, killing 49 government servicemen.

"We had warned (the Ukrainian armed forces) not to fly in `our sky`," Strelkov says in the post.

"And here is a video confirming that a `bird fell`," said the post.

The website then provides a link that is identical to that published by Ukrainian media in reports about the Malaysia Airlines jet.

The video shows locals referring to the Progress coal mine mentioned by Strelkov.