Smoke from shelling rises over a residential apartment house in Shakhtarsk, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine on Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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Ukraine said its troops had taken more territory from pro-Russian rebels near the site where Malaysian flight MH17 was brought down, as international investigators said fighting was preventing them reaching the crash location.Ukrainian officials said two rebel-held towns had been recaptured and attempts were being made to take a village Kiev says was near the launch site of the surface-to-air missile that shot down the airliner with loss of all 298 on board.A spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council, Andriy Lysenko, said Kiev was trying to close in on the crash site and force the rebels out of the area but was not conducting military operations in the immediate vicinity.He said Ukrainian troops were in the towns of Torez and Shakhtarsk, both formerly held by the rebels, while fighting was in progress for the village of Snezhnoye -- close to the presumed missile launch site -- and Pervomaisk.Antyufeyev, who like most of the senior rebel leadership is an outsider from Russia, also blamed the "senseless" Ukrainian army for trying to destroy evidence at the crash site under cover of fighting.
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