MH17 crash: Malaysia to hold memorial service

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia is scheduled to hold a memorial service in Kuala Lumpur next month to remember the 298 people who were onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine last year.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said he would present a report to the cabinet on Wednesday before finalising the date and other details of the event, The Malaysian Star reported on Sunday.

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“The Netherlands as well as Australia will also be holding separate memorial services next month,” Liow said.

“Malaysia Airlines is willing to fly the families of victims to the Netherlands for its memorial service should they want to attend,” he added.

The Boeing 777-200, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17 last year in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, some 60 km from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operations between the Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army.

All the 283 passengers – citizens of 10 states – and 15 crew members on board the aircraft died. Most of the passengers — 196 people — were Dutch citizens.

The plane is believed to have been shot down with a surface-to-air or an air-to-air missile. The Ukrainian authorities and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) accused each other of the incident.