KIEV- Ukraine's government accused pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine of trying to destroy evidence at the site where a Malaysian airliner crashed and of removing 38 bodies from the scene.

"The government of Ukraine officially states that the terrorists, with the help of Russia, are trying to destroy evidence of international crimes," the government said in a statement today.

"According to government data, the terrorists have taken 38 bodies to the morgue in (the eastern city of) Donetsk," it said, accusing specialists with "strong Russian accents" of threatening to carry out their own autopsies.