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U.S. blames pro-Russian separatists in Malaysia Airlines crash

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Updated: 7/18 10:44 pm

(NBC News) -- President Obama announced on Friday that an American was on board Malaysia Airlines flight 17 that was shot down by a missile near the Ukraine-Russia border.

All 298 passengers and crew were killed.

The U.S. believes pro-Russian separatists were behind the attack.

The FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board are sending experts to assist in the investigation.

It won't be easy. The crash site spans over 10 miles and is controlled by rebels who may have blown up the plane.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Says the U.S. cannot rule out Russia's help in this attack. The White House says these separatists have blown up planes before, with Russian weapons, but never a passenger airline.

As the investigation into this tragic event begins, President Obama is calling on Russian President Putin to solve the crisis in Ukraine and declare an immediate cease-fire.

-- Jennifer Johnson reports

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