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Malaysia Airlines to provide $5,000 to families of downed MH17

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airlines said it will provide $5,000 to each family of passengers of downed Flight MH17, the airline said on Monday.

The financial assistance, which is to "ease the immediate families of the passengers with their economic needs", will not be offset against the final compensation or affect families' legal rights to claim, Malaysia Airlines said in a statement.

"Funds have already been made available for this purpose," it added.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down last week in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.