AS fighting continued to rage in eastern Ukraine, an international team of investigators has managed to reach the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17.
It was the first time since the plane was brought down by a missile two weeks ago, as clashes along routes to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had kept the delegation from reaching the area.
But the investigators were allowed through a checkpoint leading to the crash site at the village of Rozsypne on Wednesday by a rifle-toting militiaman who then fired a warning shot to prevent reporters from accompanying the convoy.
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The team of police and forensic experts, which comprises members from the Netherlands and Australia, are expected to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and collecting victims' belongings.
Security for investigators has been a major concern as the Ukrainian army continues in its offensive to take back swathes of territory from the rebels.