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First Malaysia Airlines MH17 bodies returned to Malaysia

First Malaysia Airlines MH17 bodies returned to Malaysia

Malaysia is holding a national day of mourning as the first 20 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrive in Kuala Lumpur.

Flags flew at half-mast as a specially chartered plane arrived from Amsterdam at around 10:00 local time.

The arrival will be greeted with a minute of silence later today.

Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels over Ukraine.

Russia and rebel forces deny the claim, pointing to Ukrainian forces.

All 298 passengers and crew on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 died on July 17th.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesman said the company would organise a prayer session, which would be made open to the public to offer their respects and prayers.

“Malaysia Airlines is deeply saddened by this devastating tragedy.

“It has been a long and painful wait for the families and friends of the passengers and crew on-board MH17,” said its spokesman.

The victims’ bodies will later be given to their families and relatives to be laid to rest.