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Dutch anger swells at treatment of Ukraine bodies

Monday, July 21, 2014 - Updated: 8:45 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- It is no longer only grief and mourning sweeping across the Netherlands in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. It is now anger.

The Dutch have widely condemned the way the bodies of loved ones have been treated in Ukraine and the fact they have not yet been returned home four days after Thursday's tragedy.

"No words can describe it," said Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son Bryce and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers died on their way to a vacation in Bali. "Bodies are just lying there for three days in the hot sun. There are people who have this on their conscience. There are families who can never hold the body of a child or a mother."

Fredriksz-Hoogzand was among scores of victims' relatives expected at a behind-closed-doors meeting today near the central city of Utrecht, where they were to be consoled by King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The downing of the Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday killed 298 passengers and crew, including 193 Dutch citizens.

Lawmakers hurried back from their summer recess for a meeting today with Rutte, who told them that getting the bodies home as soon as possible was his government's top priority. He said a Dutch military transport plane was ready to repatriate the remains, which are now being stored in a refrigerated train in a rebel-held town.

     

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