Malaysia Jet was shot down by missile in Ukraine, U.S. officials say

By Daniel S Levine,

U.S. officials now say that a surface-to-air missile did bring down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in the Ukraine.

As previously reported, there were 295 people on the plane and all are feared dead. The plane was brought down in Eastern Ukraine, a part of the world that has descended into chaos as pro-Russian separatists fight the Ukrainian government. It landed just 30 miles from the Russian border.

While it was not confirmed immediately, according to NBC News and The New York Times, American officials now can confirm that the plane, a Boeing 777, was downed by a missile.

Vice President Joe Biden did say today that the plane was “shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky.” Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has said that it is still being determined if Americans were onboard.

However, The Globe and Mail is reporting that one Canadian was a passenger onboard. Media has quoted Malaysia Airlines senior vice president Huib Gorter as saying that the passengers included 154 Dutch citizens, as well as citizens from the U.K., Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia.

Ukraine President Petro O. Poroshenko has called for an investigation and did speak with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Obama has spoken to Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

It is still not clear which side fired the missile that brought down the plane, although it does appear that it was a Russian-made missile.



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