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MH17 crash victims' bodies reportedly removed

Scores of bodies that had been gathered at the main Ukraine crash site of Malaysian plane MH17 were reportedly removed, and were said to be loaded onto refrigerated train wagons.

GRABOVE: Scores of bodies that had been gathered at the main Ukraine crash site of Malaysian plane MH17 have been removed, an AFP reporter on the scene said on Sunday.

Associated Press reported that emergency workers and monitors were forced to hand over 196 bodies recovered from the crash site, and they were loaded onto refrigerated train wagons.

Pro-Russian rebels who had been guarding the impact site also appeared to have left, with about a dozen stretchers, paper masks and plastic gloves abandoned at the scene.

Poles marking locations where bodies had been found in the field have also been removed.

Sergei Kavtaradze, senior official of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, said the 196 bodies had been loaded into the wagons at Torez, 15 km from the crash site.  

According to Reuters, monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) checked the train wagons, accompanied by armed rebels.

According to Russian media, the bodies were headed to the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

Local emergency crews, who were also absent from the site Sunday, declined comment when contacted by telephone but said that the separatists would be releasing an official statement later.

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