Hollande: Mali crash victims' bodies to be flown to France
Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 01:41
French President Francois Hollande says all the bodies of the Mali air crash victims will be taken back to France as French troops secure the crash site. Nathan Frandino reports.
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More French troops have arrived in Mali, where they will help in the Air Algerie plane crash investigation.
Troops from a U.N. peacekeeping force have already secured the crash site, which sits near the Burkina Faso border.
In France, President Francois Hollande met with the families of the crash victims.
Afterwards, he said more challenges lie ahead.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT SAYING:
"I have decided that the teams currently on site need to have the necessary time in order to regroup and identify bodies, and when it will be possible all the bodies will be brought back to France, all the remains from all the passengers."
Aviation experts, criminal investigators and soldiers converged at the site Friday - a day after the plane crashed, killing 118 people.
Officials say poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash but have not made any conclusions.
The Malian president also flew in to express his condolences.
(SOUNDBITE)(French) MALIAN PRESIDENT, IBRAHIM BOUBACAR KEITA, SAYING:
"For Burkina Faso and all the others with whom we are so close and who have lost people very dear to them, we come to show our respects to the bodies."
The investigation remains ongoing as officials examine the plane's two black box recorders.
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