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A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane has been shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border, killing all 295 people on board, according to a Ukrainian interior ministry official. Flight MH17, which was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew, was flying between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpar after taking off leaving at lunchtime today.  The Interfax news agency reported that the aircraft went missing near Donetsk, where pro-Russian rebels have been fighting Ukrainian government forces for several weeks.  TV pictures from the scene showed a pall of smoke billowing into the sky apparently from the stricken aircraft. It is believed the plane was struck by BUK surface-to-air missile at 33,000ft around 20 miles before entering Russian airspace.

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