'No French victims in Malaysia Airlines plane crash'

Paris : France's President Francois Hollande announced Friday that there was no French national among casualties of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine.

"According to the documents submitted by the company ... there would not be French victim because there was no French on board, except a case that has not yet been clarified," Xinhua quoted Hollande as saying.

Hollande, who was on an African tour to prepare ground for a new military mission in the continent, called for an "international investigation to know the truth and identify the perpetrators".


MH17 crash: Obama points to rebels in Ukraine

Washington : US President Barack Obama Friday said at the missile that took down a Malaysian jetliner killing 298 people on board was fired from an area in eastern Ukraine controlled by separatist rebels and blamed Russia for the tragedy.

Addressing a press briefing in the White House, Obama called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists, seeking independence, have been fighting forces from Kiev.


MH17 crash: UN calls for independent probe

United Nations : The UN Security Council Friday called for "a full, thorough and independent international investigation" of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 298 people aboard in a strife-torn area of eastern Ukraine.

The emergency session began with a minute's silence in honour of the 283 passengers and 15 crew members killed Thursday.

The investigation should be conducted "in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines", the council said, demanding "appropriate accountability" and "immediate access by investigators to the crash site".


WHO official killed in plane crash

New Delhi : The World Health Organisation Friday said it has lost one of its communications experts in the Malaysia Airlines plane crash over Ukraine.

"Glenn Thomas from department of communications was travelling to the international AIDS conference in Australia," the WHO said in a statement.

"Glenn had been with WHO for more than a decade.

"He came here from the BBC and spent many years providing communications support to the Tuberculosis department," it added.

Glenn is survived by his partner Claudio and his twin sister, Tracey.


US offers help in MH17 crash probe

Washington : US Secretary of State John Kerry has said his country is ready to offer help to any international investigation into the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine that killed 298 people on board.

“We are horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. There are no words adequate to express our condolences to the families of the nearly 300 victims,” Kerry said a statement Friday.

“We offer our sympathies and support to the governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands at this difficult time, as well as to all those whose citizens may have been on board.”


Merkel calls for ceasefire in Ukraine post-MH17 crash

Berlin : German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday called for a ceasefire in Ukraine after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine Thursday killing all 298 people on board

Addressing the MH17 tragedy at her annual summer press conference, Merkel said a ceasefire "is necessary", adding, "our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones".

She also confirmed four Germans died in the plane crash, Xinhua reported.

Merkel said the task now was for an independent investigation to be initiated as soon as possible.


Ukraine should investigate MH17 crash: Malaysian minister

Kuala Lumpur : Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai Friday said that Ukraine should launch a probe into the circumstances that led to the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 Thursday.

Liow said Malaysia would offer its full and unqualified support to the investigation, Xinhua reported.

"Malaysia has been formally invited to participate, and will send two senior accredited representatives to assist," Liow said.


Five Belgians on board MH17

Brussels : Five Belgian nationals were among the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine Thursday, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders said Friday.

Reynders extended his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, calling for an investigation to clarify the causes of the tragedy, Xinhua reported.

The Belgian ministry of foreign affairs has opened an emergency hotline to provide information to concerned family members.


Soviet-era missile may have hit Malaysia Airlines plane

New York : The surface-to-air missile that reportedly shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 killing all 298 people on board may be a Soviet-era "Buk" missile, experts have said.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound Malaysia Airlines MH17 passenger plane crashed Thursday near the Russian border, killing all the 298 passengers and crew members on board.

Buk missiles track their targets using semi-active radar, in which the missile serves as a passive detector of radar signals reflected off the target from a separate transmitter.


Putin calls for immediate peace in Ukraine

Moscow : Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an immediate peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, the Kremlin press service said Friday.

"The Russian head of state noted that this tragedy confirmed once again the need for soonest peaceful settlement of the acutest crisis in Ukraine and noted that all details of the air crash should be investigated thoroughly," Xinhua quoted the Kremlin press service as stating.

Putin also offered sincere condolences to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte over the crash.