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KIEV, Ukraine (WDRB & AP wire reports) -- A Ukrainian official says 181 bodies have been located so far at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.
The Ukraine Foreign Ministry representative says the bodies will be taken for identification to Kharkiv, a government-controlled city 170 miles north of the crash site. Separatist rebels who control the area where the plane was brought down say they've recovered most of the plane's black boxes and are considering what to do with them. Ukraine accuses separatists of shooting down the plane yesterday.
Meanwhile, there's no word on whether there were any Americans on the Malaysia Airlines plane that went down in Ukraine yesterday, killing all 298 people on board.
The plane that was headed to the capital of Malaysia had originated in Amsterdam, and most of the passengers were from the Netherlands. There were 173 Dutch on board, 44 were Malaysian, including 15 crew and two infants, and 28 were Australian. There were eight other known nationalities, and the nationalities of 18 people are unconfirmed.
Officials say several world-renowned AIDS researchers and activists heading to an international AIDS conference in Australia were on board the Malaysian jetliner that officials suspect was shot down over Ukraine as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Thursday. One of those was the former president of the International AIDS Society, Joep Lange, a well-known HIV researcher from the Netherlands. Also among the dead is Glenn Thomas, the World Health Organization's Geneva-based spokesman.
Flags are flying half-staff across the Netherlands as the country mourns at least 154 of its citizens killed when a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine. Grieving relatives of the victims were gathering in a hotel at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport early Friday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte called for a fully independent investigation into the crash Thursday that killed 298 passengers and crew, the majority of them Dutch. Rutte says "the next of kin of the 154 Dutch victims and all the other nationalities have the right to know what happened."