UK & World News

  • 21 July 2014, 14:33

MH17: 'Bloody Guerrillas' Hold Train Of Bodies

Trains containing bodies from the MH17 crash site are being blocked by "terrorists", the Ukrainian government has said.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said: "We sent two trains, four carts, which right now are in Torez City.

"These bloody guerrillas do not allow the train to leave the area."

The trains are reportedly surrounded by 50 insurgents - but Dutch forensic teams say they have been promised the wagons will be released later on Monday so they can "do their work".

There are conflicting reports about whether the refrigeration systems on the trains are working.

As Russia and Ukraine continue to trade accusations over the cause of the Malaysia Airlines crash, rescuers have found 272 of the 298 victims - as well as 66 fragments of bodies - in the area where the plane came down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

There are fears some of the bodies were incinerated without a trace during the crash.

Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said: "We're looking at the field where the engines have come down.

"This was the area which was exposed to the most intense heat. We do not see any bodies here. It appears that some have been vaporised."

The have also been accusations that bodies were removed by rebels.

Lyubov Kudryavets, a worker at the Torez morgue, said that on the evening the plane went down, a resident brought in the bloodied body of a child aged seven or eight. On Saturday militiamen came to take it away, she said.

"They began to question me: 'Where are the fragments of rocket? Where are the fragments from the plane?'" Ms Kudryavets said.

The blocking of the trains comes despite comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin that "we need to do everything to ensure the security and safety of the observers and the experts working at the crash site".

Ukraine is set to hand control of the crash investigation to Western partners, with the Netherlands, which lost 192 citizens, taking a lead.

A Joint International Investigation Team has been established and includes experts from Malaysia, Britain, Germany and the US.

However, the OSCE is the only official body allowed access to the crash site so far.

Elsewhere, Ukraine's military has tried to break into Donetsk - which was taken by rebels in April - in the first significant outbreak of violence since the crash.

Fighting broke out near the city's railway station and airport, with reports of shelling. 

Health officials reported four people dead.

Ukraine's military denied responsibility for any explosions in the country's second city.

"There is work on clearing approaches to the city, on destroying checkpoints of the terrorists. If there are explosions in the middle of the city, then it is not Ukrainian soldiers," said Andriy Lysenko.

"We have strict orders not to use air strikes and artillery in the city. If there is fighting in the city, we have information that there is a small self-organised group who are fighting with the terrorists." 

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