Bodies of MH17 Victims Finally Arrive Home

Malaysia has first-ever day of national mourning

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 22, 2014 3:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The bodies and ashes of 20 Malaysians killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine last month arrived home today on the first day of national mourning in the country's history. It was the first repatriation of victims from the flight to the country, which is still coming to terms with the disappearance of Flight 370 and its 239 passengers and crew earlier this year. The victims were carried aboard a specially chartered Malaysian Airlines jet and received in a solemn ceremony on the tarmac of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"Today we mourn the loss of our people. Today, we begin to bring them home," Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Today we stand with you, united as one." Najib claimed personal credit for negotiating a deal with pro-Russian separatists for the return of all the bodies of the 298 people on board. The victims included 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch nationals. An international investigation is ongoing, but no one has been arrested.

Flowers are laid along a roadside leading from Kuala Lumpur International Airport today.
Flowers are laid along a roadside leading from Kuala Lumpur International Airport today.   (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
Malaysian Army soldiers carry a coffin containing one of the bodies to a hearse at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysian Army soldiers carry a coffin containing one of the bodies to a hearse at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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