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Rebels likely downed Malaysian jet ‘by mistake,’ U.S. officials say

Reuters

July 22, 2014 | 2:18 pm

<em>A part of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at its crash site  near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, on July 20. Photo by Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters</em>

A part of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at its crash site near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, on July 20. Photo by Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday they believe pro-Russian separatists likely shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 "by mistake."

Last week's downing of the airliner, in which all 298 people aboard were killed, has sharply deepened the Ukrainian crisis, in which separatist gunmen in the Russian-speaking east have been fighting government forces since pro-Western protesters in Kiev forced out a pro-Moscow president and Russia annexed Crimea in March.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jason Szep and Peter Cooney

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