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Malaysian flags to fly at half mast Friday

Posted on Aug 19 2014 | IANS

kuala Lumpur, Aug 19 : Malaysian flags will fly at half mast Friday to show respect for those who perished in the MH17 tragedy July 17, media reported.

"The national day of mourning is to express the country's deep sorrow and pay tribute to victims of the tragedy," the Malaysian Star quoted the prime minister's department as saying in a statement.

The department issued a directive calling on all ministries, government departments and agencies to fly the flag at half-mast Friday.

The government announced Aug 22 a national day of mourning for victims of MH17, when the coffins of the Malaysians who were killed in the tragedy would be brought home from the Netherlands.

However, the day would not be declared a public holiday.

The coffins will be transported by a special flight from Amsterdam, and are expected to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 10 a.m for the receiving ceremony at the Bunga Raya Complex, the report said.

Till the date, 26 Malaysian victims have been identified.

Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in Ukraine after being hit by a missile near the Russian border July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8.

The flight remains untraced till date despite intense international search efforts.

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