Relatives of MH370 passengers march at embassy

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


BEIJING -- Furious over Malaysia's handling of the lost jetliner a day after the country said the passengers must be dead, Chinese relatives of the missing marched Tuesday to the Malaysia Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!"

Among the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's 239 passengers, 153 were Chinese nationals, making the incident a highly emotional one for Beijing, and the government's demand reflected the desire among many Chinese relatives of passengers for more conclusive information on the plane's fate.

Nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the embassy in the late morning, wearing white T-shirts that read "Let's pray for MH370" as they held banners and chanted.

"Tell the truth! Return our relatives!" they shouted. There was a heavy police presence at the embassy when the group arrived, and journalists were being kept away.

The Chinese government also demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data it used to conclude that MH370 was lost in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors during a flight to Beijing.

Relatives of missing passengers
Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines, MH370 shout in protests as another reads out a statement calling for Malaysia Airlines and Malaysia's government to be held accountable after learning about the latest news in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. It was the grim news that families of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight had dreaded for weeks, and on Monday they heard it from Malaysia’s prime minister: new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing plane crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo)


Family members of the missing passengers have complained about a lack of reliable information.

Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia's ambassador to Beijing that China wanted to know what exactly led Malaysia to announce Monday night that the plane had been lost, China's Foreign Ministry said on its website Tuesday.

"We demand the Malaysian side to make clear the specific basis on which they come to this judgment," Xie was quoted as telling Datuk Iskandar Bin Sarudin.

There was no immediate response from the Malaysian side.

Flight 370 vanished less than an hour into an overnight flight March 8 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The announcement on Monday that a thorough analysis of satellite data showed that the plane went down in the Indian Ocean sparked mournful, angry, and chaotic scenes at the Beijing hotel, where many relatives had gathered.

Around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday (1800 GMT Monday), a group of family members read out a statement condemning Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government and military and vowing to hold them responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. (AP)

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