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Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Victims possibly dead before take-off, says Ukraine rebel leader

Published on Jul 19, 2014 2:20 PM
 
Commander and self-proclaimed minister of Defence of so the called "Donetsk People's Republic" Igor Girkin, aka Strelok (centre), has claimed that the victims of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 may have already been dead before the plane took off from Amsterdam on Thursday. -- PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) - A top pro-Russia separatist leader has claimed that the victims of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 may have already been dead before the plane took off from Amsterdam on Thursday.

Rebel leader Igor Girkin is reported as having said that he was told by people at the crash site that "a significant number of the bodies weren't fresh".

He is quoted as having said in a post on social networking site Vkontakte, the second largest social network service in Europe after Facebook, that the bodies were drained of blood and reeked of decomposition.

Girkin, an alleged former Russian military intelligence agent, however, said he could not confirm the information.

Flight MH17 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport when it crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday.

It was reported to have been shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

All 298 people onboard, including 15 crew members, are believed to have been killed.

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