MH17: ‘We saw missiles going through town’
Who fired the shot that brought down Malaysia Airline’s MH17 over eastern Ukraine? Though the answer to that question still remains a matter of controversy, it is now generally accepted that MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. But whose missile was it?
Two days ago, Associated Press carried an eye-witness account by its reporters who saw a tracked launcher with four BUK M-1 missiles going through the town of Snizhne in eastern Ukraine a few hours before MH17 crashed.
“It was lunchtime when a tracked launcher with four SA-11 surface-to-air missiles rolled into town and parked on Karapetyan Street,” Yuras Karmanau and Peter Leonard wrote. “Three hours later, people six miles (10 kilometers) west of Snizhne heard loud noises. “And then they saw pieces of twisted metal — and bodies — fall from the sky.”
This is an extract from the AP account:
The vehicles stopped in front of journalists from The Associated Press. A man wearing unfamiliar fatigues, speaking with a distinctive Russian accent, checked to make sure they weren’t filming. The convoy then moved on, destination unknown in the heart of eastern Ukraine’s pro-Russia rebellion.
Three hours later, people six miles (10 kilometers) west of Snizhne heard loud noises.
And then they saw pieces of twisted metal — and bodies — fall from the sky.
“I heard two powerful blasts in a row. First there was one, but then after a minute, a minute and a half, there was another discharge,” said Rostislav Grishin, a 21-year-old prison guard. “I raised my head and within a minute I could see a plane falling through the clouds.”
The AP account gives details of the journey that the missile convoy took to the Russian border, and also recounts the conversations among the rebels in which the shooting-down was discussed.
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