Bodies of 11 Ukrainian plane victims repatriated from Iran
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Bodies of 11 Ukrainian plane victims repatriated from Iran

President Volodymyr Zelensky attends honor guard for Ukraine International Airlines flight crew and 2 passengers shot down January 8 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Honor guards carry a coffin of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that was shot down in error by Iran on the outskirts of Tehran, during a memorial ceremony at Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Honor guards carry a coffin of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that was shot down in error by Iran on the outskirts of Tehran, during a memorial ceremony at Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine — The flag-draped coffins of the 11 Ukrainians who died in a plane mistakenly shot down by Iran during a spike in tensions with Washington arrived in Kyiv on Sunday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Oleksiy Goncharuk and other officials attended the solemn ceremony at Kyiv’s Boryspil airport to see caskets with the remains of the downed plane’s nine Ukrainian flight crew and two passengers being removed from the aircraft.

Ukraine International Airlines staff, some in tears, stood on the tarmac clutching flowers.

The airline staff and relatives formed two lines to make a corridor through which the honor guard carried the caskets draped in the yellow-and-blue flag of Ukraine.

An honor guard carries a coffin of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that was shot down in error by Iran on the outskirts of Tehran, at Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Some men fell to one knee to honor the victims.

The honor guard also held flags of the countries whose citizens perished in the crash.

The Kiev-bound UIA Boeing 737 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran on January 8, killing all 176 people on board, mostly Iranian and Canadian citizens.

The caskets were to remain for a while at the airport terminal so that relatives and members of the airline could say their last goodbyes.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, a motorcade of hearses carry the bodies of eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that was shot down in error by Iran on the outskirts of Tehran, at Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

The funerals are expected to be held on Monday.

The Boeing crashed shortly after Iran launched missiles at US forces in Iraq in response to the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3.

Tehran admitted it had mistakenly shot down the plane several days later.

Ukraine’s leader has demanded that Iran punish those guilty for the downing of the airliner and compensate the victims.

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