WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday said one American was killed on the plane downed over Ukraine. He said the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
The president called it a global tragedy in remarks from the White House, one day after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed.
He called for a credible international investigation.
Meanwhile, emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down as it flew miles above the country's battlefield.
The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations — including vacationers, students and a large contingent of scientists heading to an AIDS conference in Australia. At least 189 of the dead were from the Netherlands.
U.S. intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, but they did not speculate on who fired it. The Ukrainian government in Kiev, the separatist pro-Russia rebels they are fighting and the Russia government that Ukraine accuses of supporting the rebels all denied shooting the plane down. Moscow also denies backing the rebels.
After holding an emergency session, the U.N. Security Council called for "a full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the downing of the plane.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Friday for a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and urged the two sides to hold peace talks as soon as possible. A day earlier, Putin had blamed Ukraine for the crash, saying Kiev was responsible for the unrest in its Russian-speaking eastern regions. But he did not accuse Ukraine of shooting the plane down and did not address the key question of whether Russia gave the rebels such a powerful missile.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.