MH17 shot down: Rebels to 'guarantee safety' of crash site monitors if Kiev argees truce

Ukraine, rebels have reached a preliminary agreement to remove the bodies from crash site

Donetsk: A top Ukrainian rebel leader said on Sunday that the pro-Russian fighters will guarantee the safety of international monitors at the Malaysian jet's crash site if Kiev agrees to a truce.

"We declare that we will guarantee the safety of international experts on the scene as soon as Kiev concludes a ceasefire agreement," the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic's deputy premier Andrei Purgin said in a statement.

Watch: Animated video representation of Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash

A top Ukrainian official says the government and the pro-Russia separatists it is fighting have reached a preliminary agreement to remove the bodies from the site of the Malaysian plane crash.

Reports Saturday of how the bodies were decaying in the summer sun drew strong outrage worldwide, especially from the Netherlands, home to over half the victims.

Read: Anger towards Russia grows over MH17 crash

He urged Kiev to "immediately conclude such an agreement" with the rebels.

Failure to do so would give the impression that the government is made up of "dangerous lunatics, bloodthirsty maniacs (who are) dangerous not only for the residents of Donbass but also for the world community", Purgin warned.

Read: MH17 Plane crash sparks online conspiracy theories

Purgin's statement came as the international community piled pressure on Russia to get the Moscow-backed rebels to grant investigators full access to the crash site of the Malaysian MH17 jet.

Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman said the "preliminary" accord would let Ukrainian emergency services and international observers remove the bodies and transport them to a safe place. He did not reveal where that would be. He said 192 bodies have been recovered from the crash site so far.

( Source : afp/ap )
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