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Another 21 victims of MH17 crash identified

Published on Aug 8, 2014 7:41 PM
Debris from a crashed Malaysian Airlines MH17 Boeing 777 lies on the ground near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region on July 18, 2014. Dutch forensics experts have identified 21 more flight MH17 crash victims, the government said on Friday, as experts unable to work at the crash site in restive eastern Ukraine began flying home. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE, Aug 08, 2014 (AFP) - Dutch forensics experts have identified 21 more victims of flight MH17, the government said on Friday, while their colleagues at the crash site began arriving home from east Ukraine where fighting has stopped the investigation.

Only two bodies had previously been identified. The 21 new victims are made up of 16 Dutch, including a dual British national, two Malaysians, a German, a Canadian and a Briton, the Dutch justice ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Dutch forensics investigation coordinator Arie de Bruijn said around 176 “more-or-less” complete bodies had been recovered from the crash site.

Another 527 body parts have also arrived at the forensic investigators’ research facility southwest of Amsterdam, De Bruijn told the ANP news agency.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday that the search for body parts at the crash site was being suspended due to escalating clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Two military transporters arrived in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven on Friday, carrying 142 police experts from the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia plus sniffer dogs.

The Malaysia Airlines 777 exploded over Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board, 193 of them Dutch, with the West accusing Russia-backed separatists of shooting it down.

Over 220 coffins have been flown back to the Netherlands, which is tasked with identifying the bodies.