UK & World News
Downing Of Flight MH17 'May Be War Crime'
The shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane killing all 298 people on board may amount to a war crime, according to the UN.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the "horrendous shooting down" of flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and demanded a "thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation".
She said in a statement: "This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime.
"Every effort will be made to ensure that anyone committing serious violations of international law including war crimes will be brought to justice, no matter who they are."
Western countries blame rebels for shooting down the airliner with a missile, mistaking it for a Ukrainian plane, but the separatists deny any involvement.
The UN also said latest figures showed more than 1,100 people had been killed and nearly 3,500 wounded in fighting in eastern Ukraine since April, with both sides using heavy weapons in built-up areas, including artillery, tanks, rockets and missiles.
"Both sides must take great care to prevent more civilians from being killed or injured," Ms Pillay said.
A further 100,000 people have fled the violence.
The report also accused rebels of conducting a brutal "reign of terror" in the areas they controlled, including the abduction, torture and killing of civilians.
"These groups have taken control of Ukrainian territory and inflicted on the populations a reign of intimidation and terror to maintain their position of control," it said.
The report was published as at least eight civilians were killed by fighting in the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, which are held by separatist militants.
And the US released satellite images that it claims show rockets have been fired at Ukraine from within Russia.
The images, which come from the US Director of National Intelligence and have not been independently verified, also purport to show that heavy artillery for pro-Russian separatists has crossed the border.
Their release appears to be a part of Barack Obama's push to hold Russia accountable for its activities in Ukraine - and persuade European allies to apply harsher sanctions on Moscow.
Officials say the images prove heavy weapons were fired between July 21 and July 26 - after the July 17 downing of the plane.
Moscow has denied allegations of involvement in eastern Ukraine, claiming the US is conducting "an unrelenting campaign of slander against Russia, ever more relying on open lies".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) would be deployed at its border checkpoints with eastern Ukraine to see Moscow is not arming the rebels.
Meanwhile, a 49-strong team of Dutch and Australian police is making a fresh attempt to reach the MH17 crash site in rebel-held territory after fierce fighting halted a previous attempt.
Both sides accused each other of restricting access to the site.
Australia's Deputy Commissioner of National Security Andrew Colvin said evidence risked being lost if fighting continued, and the chances of finding the remains of all the dead grew slimmer as time went on.