SYDNEY, (PNA/Xinhua) — A small team of Dutch and Australian police had located more bodies at the MH17 crash site, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Friday.
The team had failed three times to reach the area in eastern Ukraine after intense fighting continued between the Ukrainian government troops and the Russian-backed rebels, but has made a breakthrough which will lead to a larger group of unarmed police and investigators entering the crash site, Abbott said.
“The team that had gone in … had been on to the site and had exited the site and, as I understand it, had recovered some more remains,” Abbott told reporters in Sydney.
“(The team will) really substantially begin the thorough professional search of the site to ensure remains are recovered, the investigation is assisted and justice can be done.”
Abbott said despite the ongoing risks, he was confident the international mission would eventually succeed.
“I am confident that this mission is as safe as it reasonably can be, under the circumstances,” he said, adding the importance of showing respect to the families of MH17 victims.
“But let’s not forget 298 innocent people have been murdered, 38 Australians have been murdered,” he said.
“We owe it to our dead to bring them back, we owe it to their families to bring them back and that is what the government is determined to do.”