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The number of people confirmed killed in the Ukraine conflict has risen above 3,000 if the victims of the MH17 plane crash are included, and the actual figure may be significantly higher, a senior U.N. human rights official said on Monday. Ivan Simonovic, U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, said the number of people killed in fighting since the conflict erupted in April was now 2,729. The toll was higher than 3,000 if the 298 victims of the MH17 crash were included, as they should be, he said. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 crashed after apparently being struck by a missile over eastern Ukraine on July 17.
"This number (of people killed in Ukraine) includes killings registered based on available resources and ... the actual number may be significantly higher," Simonovic told a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Washington and Ukraine's government accused Russian-backed rebels of shooting down the jetliner with a Russian missile system in the mistaken belief it was a Ukrainian military plane. Russia and rebels denied the accusation.