|(Flight MH17) More bodies sent back to Netherlands
Dozens more bodies from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are set to arrive in the Netherlands on Thursday, as the EU prepares to hit Russia with fresh sanctions.
Foreign ministers from the 28-nation bloc said they would meet in Brussels Thursday to draw up a new list of Russian individuals and entities to be slapped with sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, AFP reports.
The European Union agreed to speed up the imposition of wider sanctions and examine tougher measures after the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down in strife-torn eastern Ukraine, allegedly by separatist rebels backed by neighboring Russia.
The first bodies from the crash site arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday, bringing the grief-stricken nation to a standstill as it mourned the 298 passengers and crew who left the country on the ill-fated journey a week ago.
An overwhelming 193 of the victims were Dutch and the country has been united in grief and anger because of delays in getting bodies home and over the way pro-Russian separatists have treated the site, the victims' remains and personal possessions.
In a poignant and sombre ceremony, uniformed Dutch military personnel hoisted 40 wooden coffins from two planes and placed them in individual hearses at Eindhoven airport in the south of the country.
Tears flowed as a trumpeter played the Last Post at a gathering of around 1,000 bereaved relatives, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima and representatives of the other mourning nations met the planes.
Officials from the Netherlands who are leading the investigation on the ground in Ukraine say they have received 200 bodies from the rebels.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has warned it could take months for the bodies to be identified.
Dutch police have been visiting the bereaved to retrieve DNA samples from items such as hairbrushes and from details of tattoos and fingerprints, as well as consulting medical and dental records to help with the identification.