'Outrage against human decency' if MH17 shot down, says Malaysia minister
US officials have said the passenger plane was downed by a surface-to-air missile
A firefighter extinguishes flames among the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday night (AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)
Malaysia's transport minister said Friday it would constitute an "outrage against human decency" if it is confirmed that flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
"Should this be confirmed, it would contravene international law, and be an outrage against human decency," Liow Tiong Lai told reporters.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine with 298 passengers and crew aboard, including 43 Malaysian citizens.
No survivors have been found.
US officials said it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, a possible casualty of a violent rebellion in the area by pro-Russia insurgents.
Global shock and outrage mounted Friday over the tragedy as questions swirled about who was responsible.
The Boeing 777-200 came down in cornfields in the separatist-held region.
Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian forces of committing a "terrorist act" as stunned world leaders urged a full investigation into the disaster, which could further fan the flames of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
The United States demanded an "unimpeded" international inquiry into the tragedy amid concerns the crash site was vulnerable to evidence tampering among scattered debris.
The United States rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's charge that Ukraine's crackdown on separatist rebels stoked tensions that led to the crash.
Liow said the Ukrainian authorities would take control of an investigation, under international conventions on plane crashes, but added that Malaysia was sending two personnel to assist. AFP
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