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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The U.N. civil aviation body on Friday said it was not responsible for issuing warnings about potential dangers such as military conflicts, saying that duty fell to individual nations.

"The International Civil Aviation Authority does not declare airspace safe or unsafe or undertake any other direct operational responsibilities with respect to civilian air services," said ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin.

Malaysia's transport minister said earlier that ICAO had shut down a route over eastern Ukraine after a Malaysian airliner was shot down on Thursday, killing almost 300 people. ICAO said it did not have the power to open or shut routes.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Amran Abocar and James Dalgleish)