KHARKIV, Ukraine — Two military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster departed for the Netherlands Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash scene which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.
All 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, most of them Dutch citizens, were killed when the plane was shot down July 17. U.S. officials say the Boeing 777 was probably shot down by a missile, most likely by accident.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who says he fears some remains will never be recovered unless security is tightened, has proposed a multinational force mounted by countries such as Australia, the Netherlands and Malaysia that lost citizens in the disaster.
To that end, Abbott said Thursday that he had dispatched 50 police officers to London to be ready to join any organization which may result.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was traveling with her Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans to Kiev to seek an agreement with the Ukraine government to allow international police to secure the wreckage, Abbott said.
Details including which countries would contribute and whether officers would be armed and protected by international troops were yet to be agreed, Abbott said.