First MH17 victim's body identified

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Forensic experts have identified the first of 298 people killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine last week, the Dutch government said

“Today the first victim of the flight MH17 disaster was identified,” the justice ministry said in a statement  on Saturday. (Sunday Singapore time)

“It’s a Dutch citizen and the victim’s family and mayor of where they lived have been informed.”

The ministry did not publicly release the identity of the victim.

The Dutch are in charge of identifying all the victims from the July 17 disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, 193 of whom were Dutch.

“The team of 200 specialists is busy with the identification process, but warns that it can take months for all the victims to be identified,” the statement said.

Some bodies remain at the crash site but 227 coffins with the remains of people of 17 nationalities have already been flown back to the Netherlands for identification.

All remains have yet to be recovered from the crash site, with the Netherlands and Australia seeking a mandate to send troops to secure the area amid ongoing fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrianian forces. -- AFP