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Obama, Putin discuss reports of downed plane

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is asking his advisers to keep him updated on reports of a plane shot down over Ukraine. But the White House said it can’t confirm the reports.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned initial reports of a downed passenger jet near the border with Russia during a phone call with Obama Thursday morning.

Earnest said the incident came up near the end of a call requested by Russia to discuss sanctions the U.S. imposed Wednesday on Russia. Obama and Putin spoke before Obama left on a trip to Delaware and New York.

A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday over eastern Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines has lost contact with a plane in that area.

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