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Dutch experts on Tuesday prepared to take custody of some 280 bodies recovered from downed Malaysian flight MH17, as a train carrying the remains arrived in the government-held Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Rebels controlling the crash site released the morgue train under intense international pressure, finally allowing a great majority of the 298 crash victims to begin the long journey home. Their remains are now to be flown to the Netherlands, which had 193 citizens on board the doomed flight and is taking the lead in investigating a disaster that has brought Ukraine's bloody three-month conflict to the doorstep of countries as far away as Australia. Pro-Russian separatists -- who stand accused of bringing down the aircraft, possibly with a missile supplied by Moscow -- bowed to a furious clamour for the bodies and black boxes to be handed to investigators five days after the crash.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Crispian Balmer GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, saying no ceasefire was near as top U.S. and U.N. diplomats pursued talks on halting fighting that has claimed more than 500 lives. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in neighboring Egypt, while U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was due to arrive in Israel later in the day. Hamas, the dominant group in the Gaza Strip, and its allies fired more rockets into Israel, triggering sirens in Tel Aviv.