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Dutch mourn as first MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 01:33

Amsterdam residents march silently through the city in tribute to the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, as the first bodies of the victims arrive in the Netherlands. Sarah Toms reports.

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A nation in shock and mourning. Flags across the Netherlands flew at half mast in memory of the 298 people who died when flight MH17 crashed in rebel controlled eastern Ukraine. In Amsterdam, thousands of people gathered outside the royal palace in Dam Square, commemorating the innocent victims caught up in a distant war. U.S. officials believe the Malaysia Airlines jet was mistakenly shot down by separatists with a Russian-supplied missile. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMSTERDAM RESIDENT, GABRIELLA, SAYING: "The most important thing, because there are so many people walking here, I hope it gets on world news and the message gets clear that this is something that can never happen again. That's why." Local residents marched solemnly through the capital united in grief. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMSTERDAM RESIDENT, FRET, SAYING: "Just to show respect for the ones who lost so many family, wives, children. Just respect." As night fell, they released hundreds of white balloons into the sky. The Netherlands has been deeply affected by the tragedy. Nearly two thirds of the victims were Dutch. This rally coincided with the arrival of the first bodies recovered from the crash site. With so many of their countrymen dead, the Dutch have been taking a leading role in the international effort to recover and identify the bodies and investigate the cause of the crash.

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Dutch mourn as first MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 01:33