BEIJING - Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing Tuesday to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate.
Around 200 family members, some in tears, linked arms and shouted slogans including "The Malaysian government are murderers" and "We want our relatives back".
The embassy is about four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the Lido Hotel, where meetings have been taking place throughout the drama. A new chapter opened late on Monday when Malaysia said the plane had crashed in the Indian Ocean.
Chinese authorities normally keep a very tight rein on any protests in Beijing. Scores of black-clad uniformed police officers were blocking traffic at the diplomatic mission, their walkie-talkies abuzz.
A relative who refused to give his name, but who has been one of the unofficial leaders of the Flight MH370 group, told AFP that the police "would have known" about the demonstration.
"We are still discussing with the police what we are going to do," he told AFP. "Maybe they are preparing for us to arrive."
Earlier, the relatives boarded large shuttle buses bringing them from various hotels to the Lido, intending to take them to the diplomatic mission, but dozens of police surrounded the vehicles and prevented them from driving off, leading them to march instead.
"We are going to protest at the Malaysian embassy," one man told AFP as he joined some 200 other relatives to board the buses at the hotel where they had gathered throughout the 17-day ordeal.
One family member was holding a loudspeaker and urging journalists to head to the embassy, while others stood in a group, sombre and motionless, many holding pre-prepared printed placards and wearing "Pray for MH370" T-shirts.