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Netherlands suspends search operation at MH17 crash site in Ukraine

The Dutch authorities on Wednesday said they would stop the search operation at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it was dangerous for international specialists to remain in the region where the security situation is deteriorating

About 80 international specialists earlier arrived at the crash site, including eight members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, and experts from the Netherlands and Australia.

On July 31, at their meeting in Minsk, officials from Ukraine, the OSCE and Russia, and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic agreed to cease fire within the humanitarian corridor used by OSCE monitors to access the crash site.

In the first several days after the accident, members of the local militias found fragments of more than 200 bodies at the crash site. All of them were taken to the Netherlands for identification.

Australian and Dutch experts are looking for the remains of the passengers and their personal belongings to be shipped to the Netherlands. This may take several weeks.

The expert mission consists of 332 members who are to be joined shortly by 68 Malaysian policemen. Up to 100 people will be working at the crash site daily but they will not be conducting the investigation or collecting evidence.

The plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region 60 km from the Russian border on July 17 and as many as 298 people aboard died.

[Source: Itar Tass, The Hague, 06Aug14]

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Ukraine Unrest
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