February 2, 2015 / 4:06 PM / 3 years ago

Dutch search team recovers remains, MH17 wreckage in Ukraine

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch search team recovered human remains and wreckage from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on Monday, the Dutch government said.

The plane was shot down on July 17, killing 298 passengers and crew, two-thirds of them Dutch. Forensics teams in the Netherlands have so far identified 295 victims with DNA testing.

Dutch military and police officials, working with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), found body parts near the town of Grabovo, close to the main crash site, a statement said.

"They recovered personal belongings and some pieces of wreckage that were found by residents," it said. The team planned to continue the search in nearby villages if the security situation in coming days permits.

Fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels has surged in recent days after failed peace talks.

A Dutch-led, international investigation into how the plane was brought down is ongoing. It is widely believed to have been shot down by a ground-to-air missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian insurgents.

Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Toby Chopra

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