UK & World News

  • 25 March 2014, 19:06

Malaysia Plane Relatives March On Embassy

Scores of angry relatives of passengers from the missing airliner have marched on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing accusing the authorities of "hiding the truth".

They marched three miles from the hotel where they have been staying for the last two and a half weeks to the embassy, waving banners and chanting "give us back our relatives".

Demonstrations in the communist country are rare and there was a heavy police presence, although the protest passed off largely peacefully.

It came a day after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the plane had crashed in remote seas off Australia - despite no confirmed sightings of any wreckage.

About 20 to 30 protesters threw water bottles at the Malaysian embassy and tried to storm the building, demanding to meet the ambassador, witnesses said.

Riot squad officers stood between the grieving relatives and the embassy and a huge media contingent was kept behind a further police line, well away from the demonstration.

At one point some family members walked up to the media pack asking for them to join them at the embassy, but journalists were stopped from moving by police.

One protester, Steven Wang, told reporters "We just want the truth and if you make a conclusion with no exact evidence just from analysis from the satellite data, why you make a conclusion?

"Why you make the conclusion that no one is alive? They said that none of them survived, I don't believe that. If you make such a conclusion, you must have some evidence. And we want to ask why."

The demonstration ended when relatives were told the Malaysian ambassador would meet them at the hotel and answer questions.

A high-level delegation is also being sent to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur to address family members on Wednesday.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished more than two weeks ago while flying between the two cities.

The Malaysian authorities believe it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, citing satellite-data analysis by British firm Inmarsat.

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