WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama today called the death of nearly 300 people, including one American citizen, in the Malaysia Airlines tragedy “an outrage of unspeakable proportions.”
Obama’s comments came as the United States began building a case Friday that would pin the blame for the downing of the passenger jet over Ukraine on separatist forces supported by Russia, in a disaster that could dramatically escalate the crisis in Ukraine. Obama called for an immediate cease-fire to allow for an unfettered investigation.
Evidence indicates that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists, Obama said at the White House. He warned that the incident showed the crisis in Ukraine won’t be localized or contained to the region.
‘‘This should snap everybody’s heads to attention,’’ Obama said.
He identified the U.S. citizen who was killed as Quinn Lucas Schansman. No other details were available on the passenger.
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