Amsterdam: Australia`s prime minister, Tony Abbott, has said the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine was mass murder.
On a visit to the Netherlands to discuss the disaster with Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Abbott laid a wreath at the military barracks where victims` remains are being identified.
"Let`s be absolutely crystal clear about what happened," he said after meeting Rutte in The Hague.
"Two-hundred-ninety-eight innocent people were murdered." Flight 17 was shot down July 17, killing all 298 people aboard, mostly Dutch, Malaysian and Australian citizens.
Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have publicly denied responsibility but one top rebel has told The Associated Press they were involved.
A Dutch-led criminal investigation into the plane`s destruction is still in an evidence-gathering phase.