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.


Typhoon Rammasun toll rises to 54 in Philippines

Manila : The toll from Typhoon Rammasun in the Philippines has risen to 54, with 100 injured and three still missing, the state disaster relief agency said Friday.

A total of 26,259 houses were damaged in the northern part of the country, Xinhua repoted.

Four provinces reported power interruption since July 15.

Metro Manila suffered power cuts due to inefficient supply.


Ukrainian rebels admit to downing MH17

Kiev : According to recordings of intercepted phone calls between Russian military intelligence officers and rebels, pro-Russian separatists admit to have downed the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed Thursday over Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Friday.

According to the SBU, one phone call was made 20 minutes after the plane crash by Igor Bezler, a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, to a Russian security officer, Vasili Geranin, the Kyiv Post reported.


298 dead, says Malaysian Airlines

Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Airlines Friday confirmed that there were 298 people on-board flight MH17 which crashed in Ukraine Thursday.

According to a statement, MH17 was carrying 283 passengers, including three infants of various nationalities, and 15 Malaysian crew members, the Malaysian Star reported.

The identified passengers and crew comprised 154 Dutch, 43 Malaysians including 15 members, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine British, four German, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one Canadian.

The nationalities of 41 passengers are yet to be determined.

Court: Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslim deaths

The Hague : A court on Wednesday ordered the Netherlands to compensate the families of more than 300 Bosnian Muslims killed after Dutch peacekeeping troops handed them over to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.

Top AIDS experts among Malaysian flight crash victims

Sydney: Some of the world's top AIDS experts, bound for an international conference in Melbourne, Australia, were among those killed in Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash, authorities said Friday.

The International AIDS Society (IAS) in a statement on its web site said the loss of so many lives was a deep tragedy, reported Xinhua.