Investigators again retreat from MH17 site

For the second consecutive day on Monday, violent clashes turned back investigators trying to reach the site of downed Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, according to reports, while the U.N. says the attack on the jet might be a war crime.

The failure to reach the site comes just a week after President Obama demanded that these investigators have unfettered access.

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A new U.N. reports finds that more than 1,100 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine between mid-April and late July. A U.N. report from June held the death toll at 356. 

On Monday, the U.N.’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, said the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet on July 17 might be a war crime. 

“This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime,” she said in a statement, according to The New York Times.  

Ukrainian security spokesman Andrei Lysenko said Monday that data from the crashed plane indicated the jet suffered from “massive explosive decompression” after a missile’s fragments hit it.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday called for the U.N. Security Council to approve a U.N.-led investigation into the downing of the plane.

Russia has suggested Ukraine’s government in Kiev was responsible, but the U.S. has said pro-Russian separatists shot the plane down with help from Russia. 

The State Department released images on Sunday indicating rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery has also been moved across the border.

Australian and Dutch forensic experts were stopped Monday in the town of Shaktarsk, leading to the site. They had also canceled their visit on Sunday because of safety concerns.

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