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Flight MH17 crash victims' remains still delayed in eastern Ukraine

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Flight MH17 crash victims' remains still delayed in eastern Ukraine


Delays in repatriating the remains of victims from the suspected shooting down of a Malaysia airliner in eastern Ukraine is causing anger and distress among relatives.

Around 190 bodies have so far been loaded on to refrigerated rail wagons and moved away from the at the crash site in Grabove but only as far as Torez some 15 km away.

“We are waiting for all the bodies to send them home. As soon as all the bodies are collected, the train will leave,” said separatist rebel leader “ Brodyaga” .

Pro-Russian separatists suspected of downing the jet with a missile have been accused of tampering with the evidence.

In the Netherlands the home country of about two.thirds of the 298 people who died on the crash, emotions are running high.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced he was sending his foreign affairs minister to the UN.

“Frans Timmermans is travelling to New York for consultations with the United Nations and members of the Security Council to extend the international coalition, whose aim is to secure a quick repatriation and to make sure that all the facts are uncovered about the horrible events of MH17. All this should have been done days ago. But we’re working as hard as possible to ensure a quick repatriation.”

Meanwhile the rebels say they have the crashed jet’s flight recorders and will hand them over to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

A previous unverified online recording implied the rebels had considered hiding the black boxes.

Fresh fighting has broken out in Donetsk as government forces attempt to enter the city. People fled the city centre amid reports of artillery fire hitting the area.

The Donetsk city council has asked people in the vicinity to stay indoors. “It’s dangerous near the railway station,” it said in a statement on its website. It says a nine-storey house had been damaged in the shelling and that transport had been stopped in the area.

“In the morning there were explosions, people are extremely worried,” said a local resident.

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