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Dutch forensics team has identified bodies of 23 Ukraine plane disaster victims so far

Ukraine Plane Pilots-1.jpg

FILE - This Aug. 1, 2014 file photo shows investigators examining a piece of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. U.S. and international pilot unions are pressing the Obama administration and global aviation officials to get intelligence to airlines faster on potential threats to civil aviation from hostilities around the world following last month’s shoot down of an airliner carrying nearly 300 people. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File) (The Associated Press)

The Dutch-led forensic team working on the remains of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 says it has identified 23 victims so far.

Justice Ministry spokesman Jean Fransman said those include 18 Dutch, two Malaysians, a Canadian, a German and a Briton. All their families have been notified, the ministry said Friday.

Flight 17 was shot down last month over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard. Pro-Russian rebels have publicly denied downing the plane but one top rebel has told The Associated Press that the insurgents were involved.

In all, 228 coffins have been brought to the Netherlands but it's not known how many victims that represents. The forensic experts at a military base in Hilversum are using DNA samples and dental records in a process expected to take months.