Malaysia Airlines MH17 killed by Buk missile launcher in Ukraine rebel territory

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was carrying 298 people when it went down in Ukraine, according to latest reports. There are no survivors.

Ukranian interior minister Anton Gerashenko said it was 'hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher' -- a medium-range surface-to-air missile system developed predominantly by the Russian defense department. However, this has not been confirmed.

Buk launchers fire anti-aircraft missiles, which travel at mach 3 or above. MH17 was within striking distance of Ukraine, Russia, and the Ukrainian rebels, all of which possess Buk launchers.

With a 70kg warhead, missiles such as the SA-11 launched from a Buk missile system, can destroy an aircraft by direct impact or by proximity fuse.

The Boeing 777 took off from Amsterdam at 12:15 a.m., and had planned to land in Kuala Lumpur at 6:10 a.m. local time. It went down in eastern Ukraine at 4:21 p.m. The plane was flying over pro-Russian rebel held territory in Ukraine when it crashed near the village of Grabovo, about 40 km from the border with Russia.

Of the passengers identified so far, there were 154 Dutch, 27 Australian, 23 Malaysian, 11 Indonesian, 6 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 Filipino and 1 Canadian passengers. All 15 of the crew were Malaysian.

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