Washington, DC, United States (4E) – A commander of separatist fighters in Ukraine claimed responsibility for the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane on Thursday that killed 295 people aboard, according to CBS News.
CBS News based its report on a post by Igor Girkin, the self-proclaimed defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, on VK.com, Russia’s version of Facebook on Thursday. The 17:10 Moscow time post in Girkin’s VK.com account, named after his alias Igor Strelkov, quoted him as saying that his militia reported shooting down a military plane around the time the MAS Flight MH17 went down in eastern Ukraine.
The plane took off from Amsterdam, Netherlands at 12:15 Central European Time and was supposed to reach its destination Friday at 6:10 a.m. Malaysia time.
Mashable’s report quoted Moscow native Girkin as saying in his post, “We did warn you—do not fly in our sky.” Strelkov referred to the plane crash as a bird going down and pointed the crash site as somewhere around Terov behind a mine.
The post, however, is no longer available, apparently removed or deleted as Girkin realized that a commercial jet was actually shot down and not a military plane.
Alexander Borodai, self-declared prime minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, denied rebels were responsible for shooting down the plane telling Mashable they don’t have the weapon capable of hitting the plane.