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Australia, Netherlands ready to secure crash site

  • Pro-Russian fighters ride a airborne self-propelled artillery gun Nona in downtown Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 24, 2014. While the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week riveted international attention on the Ukraine conflict, locals have been struggling for months with spiraling violence. The Ukrainian military, buoyed after the fall of rebel stronghold Slovyansk this month, is now trying to encircle Donetsk and cut off any supply routes from Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Pro-Russian fighters ride a airborne self-propelled artillery gun Nona in downtown Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 24, 2014. While the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week riveted international attention on the Ukraine conflict, locals have been struggling for months with spiraling violence. The Ukrainian military, buoyed after the fall of rebel stronghold Slovyansk this month, is now trying to encircle Donetsk and cut off any supply routes from Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Dutch and Australian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine  pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Dutch and Australian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Dutch investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Dutch investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • An Australian military cargo plane with coffins holding bodies of some of the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner which was downed over eastern Ukraine last week, leaves for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    An Australian military cargo plane with coffins holding bodies of some of the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner which was downed over eastern Ukraine last week, leaves for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

  • Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, foreground, speaks to the media as a Dutch military cargo plane with coffins holding bodies of some of the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner which was downed over eastern Ukraine last week, prepares to take off for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down.(AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, foreground, speaks to the media as a Dutch military cargo plane with coffins holding bodies of some of the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner which was downed over eastern Ukraine last week, prepares to take off for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down.(AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

  • Members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Dutch and Australian investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Dutch and Australian investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Cows feed next to a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Cows feed next to a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • A police officer stands guard as a woman walks past pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    A police officer stands guard as a woman walks past pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Israeli tank rides near the Israel and Gaza border Friday, July 25, 2014. Early Friday, Israeli warplanes struck tens of houses throughout the Gaza Strip as international efforts continue to broker a cease fire in the 18 day-old war. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

    Israeli tank rides near the Israel and Gaza border Friday, July 25, 2014. Early Friday, Israeli warplanes struck tens of houses throughout the Gaza Strip as international efforts continue to broker a cease fire in the 18 day-old war. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

  • Pro-Russian fighters ride a airborne self-propelled artillery gun Nona in downtown Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 24, 2014. While the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week riveted international attention on the Ukraine conflict, locals have been struggling for months with spiraling violence. The Ukrainian military, buoyed after the fall of rebel stronghold Slovyansk this month, is now trying to encircle Donetsk and cut off any supply routes from Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • Dutch and Australian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine  pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • Dutch investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • An Australian military cargo plane with coffins holding bodies of some of the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner which was downed over eastern Ukraine last week, leaves for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
  • Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, foreground, speaks to the media as a Dutch military cargo plane with coffins holding bodies of some of the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner which was downed over eastern Ukraine last week, prepares to take off for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down.(AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
  • Members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • Dutch and Australian investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • Cows feed next to a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • A police officer stands guard as a woman walks past pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
  • Israeli tank rides near the Israel and Gaza border Friday, July 25, 2014. Early Friday, Israeli warplanes struck tens of houses throughout the Gaza Strip as international efforts continue to broker a cease fire in the 18 day-old war. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

A small group of Dutch and Australian investigators combed the sprawling, unsecured site where Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 went down, taking notes and photos as their governments prepared police detachments they hope can help protect the crash area and bring the last of the victims home.

The Dutch government said 40 unarmed military police officers were leaving the Netherlands late yesterday for eastern Ukraine to help investigators, while Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said his government is close to a deal to send officers. Australia has 90 federal police officers standing by in Europe.

The Boeing 777 went down July 17 as it headed to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, killing all 298 people on board. U.S. and Ukrainian officials say it was shot down, likely by mistake, by a missile fired from rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting Ukrainian government forces.

“This will be a police-led humanitarian mission,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. “And there will be body identification experts, forensic experts. And of course we will ensure that they are safe, that they will have protection.”

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