herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Rebels steal phones and jewellery from corpses

The bodies and belongings of the victims of flight MH17 have been looted, the leader of the rebels controlling the crash site has admitted.

Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said looters "can be found everywhere" and promised to punish any he found.

Witnesses have reported seeing separatists pocketing valuables and electronic equipment from the site (inset), while Ukraine government officials have claimed that "terrorist death hunters" have been collecting victims' cash and jewellery.

The farmland where the wreckage is scattered has remained unsecured. Even the red and white tape that had sealed off the fields had been torn away.

In some places, the smell of decay and flies suggested the presence of remains under the wreckage, and observers said on Monday not all remains had been recovered.

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