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 / Updated  / Source: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - It might take "weeks or months" before the remains of Malaysian nationals who died in the attack on Flight MH17 are returned home, the country's leader said Thursday.

Prime Minister Najib Razak warned a "very painstaking process" loomed. Malaysia, a majority Muslim country, had initially sought to have the remains returned by July 28 for Hari Raya, also known as Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. "It is highly unlikely that the bodies can be brought back in time for Hari Raya." Forty-three Malaysians died aboard flight MH17, which was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Two aircraft carrying remains of some of the passengers arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday, where experts will work to identify them with DNA samples collected from relatives. The process could take months.


- Reuters