Families just want to bring the bodies of the victims home

From Malaysia to the Netherlands, grieving relatives are pleading openly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to help bring the bodies of their loved ones home.

Mr Mohamad Shidee Mohamad Ghazali, 28, a welder, said: "Of course there is anger. Why must this happen only to us, Malaysia? I really feel like beating that Russian, Vladimir Putin."

Mr Zulkifli Abdul Rahman, the brother-in-law of MH17 chief flight attendant Azrina Yakob, told AFP yesterday that the family wanted to get her remains to bury her.

"Her mother's wish is for the remains to be brought back so that we can have a proper burial, so that over time, the children can visit the grave," the 54-year-old project manager said.

Madam Azrina, 41, a mother of two, had been working for Malaysia Airlines for about 20 years.

Ms Asfarina Kartika, 28, lost her cousin Ariza Ghazalee, who had been on MH17 with her husband Tambi Jiee and their four children.


She said: "Our main concern is for the bodies and any other remains to be brought back to Malaysia for a proper funeral...so at least there is a grave for us to visit."

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has vowed to do "our best to bring back the victims of the tragedy".

Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald as saying "Let's bring them home", referring to the dead Australians.

His lament was shared by 2,000 mourners at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral. Millions more were pausing to grieve for the at least 37 Australian citizens and residents shot from the sky over Ukraine, Sir Peter said on Sunday.

A mother left devastated by the disaster appealed to Mr Putin "to send my children home".

Ms Silene Fredriksz held up a photo of her son Bryce, 23, and his 20-year-old girlfriend Daisy as she pleaded for the return of their bodies.

"I want to arrange their funeral. I can't. I don't know where they are. I want them back. I want my children back."

This article was first published on July 21, 2014.
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