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Germany blames rebels for MH17 tragedy

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Intelligence agency says pro-Russian rebels are to blame

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency BND has concluded that pro-Russian rebels are to blame for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy in Ukraine in July, in which all 298 passengers and crew were killed, Der Spiegel weekly reports.

Gerhard Schindler, president of the BND, told a secret security committee that separatists had used a Russian Buk missile system from a Ukrainian base to fire a rocket that exploded next to the plane. The agency had made a detailed analysis of satellite and other photos.

“It was pro-Russian separatists,” Der Spiegel quotes Schindler as saying.

European governments have not yet openly blamed anyone for, although shortly after the tragedy US Secretary of State John Kerry said there was strong evidence that Russian-backed separatists had downed the plane. The Netherlands has two investigations ongoing. Two thirds of the passengers were Dutch.

Der Spiegel / Reuters

[pictured: SA-11 (Buk) missile launcher; Wikipedia image by Olli-Jukka Paloneva]

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