Dutch team find more remains at Ukraine MH17 crash site

THE HAGUE - Dutch investigators have recovered more body parts at the MH17 plane crash site in Ukraine after searching a location that was previously inaccessible, the Netherlands announced on Thursday.

All 298 passengers and crew onboard the Malaysia Airlines jetliner - 193 of them Dutch - died when it was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine last year.

"The mission was again able to recover human remains and personal effects at two sites," Jean Fransman, a a spokesman for the Department of Justice, told AFP.

The latest search operation which resumed on Thursday after being halted for winter, was held in Petropavlivka, about 10 kilometres (6.25 miles) west of Grabove where most of the debris fell.

The Boeing 777 was flying at high altitude when it was shot down on July 17.

Investigators had been unable to get to Petropavlivk because of clashes between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. The fighting has lessened in intensity since a February ceasefire, paving the way for the investigators to continue their work.

"Personal effects were given to the members of the mission by the local population: it was jewellery," the ministry said in a statement.

Last year's searches of the area had also turned up body parts, personal effects and pieces of the plane's wreckage. The remains of all but two victims, both Dutch, have been identified.

Kiev and the West have claimed that the plane was shot down by the separatists, using a BUK surface-to-air missile supplied by Russia. Moscow denies the charges, pointing the finger at Kiev.

The Netherlands has been charged with leading the investigation into the cause of the incident and identifying the victims of the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.