Frustrated by the sloppy handling of the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy in which more than half of the 298 victims were Dutch citizens, a Dutch mayor called for the deportation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's 29-year-old daughter Maria, who is currently living in the Netherlands with her Dutch boyfriend.
A report in The Guardian said Pieter Broertjes, mayor of the city of Hilversum called for Maria Putin to be thrown out of the Netherlands during a local radio interview Wednesday morning.
The mayor, however, later said he was sorry for the comments on Twitter, noting that "they stemmed from a feeling of helplessness that many will recognize" and they were "not wise."
According to CNN, a plane carrying the first 40 Dutch victims of the tragedy arrived in the Netherlands Wednesday and a string of hearses transported them through the streets of that country in a somber procession as many of the victims still remain unidentified.
Harun Calehr, whose two nephews were among the 298 people killed in the crash, said the ceremony was "very moving and a beautiful tribute."
"It feels like we're just a big grieving family, and that somewhat helps in coping with this horrible, devastating event," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Shane Hattingh who watched the procession on TV in South Africa, is still looking for his brother-in-law, Cameron Dalziel.
"It's totally surreal. It was the weirdest feeling, knowing that my brother-in-law could be in one of those caskets. I just found myself wanting him to be there, but at the same time, that's too selfish," said Hattingh. He said his sister, Cameron's wife, also watched the procession and "she's destroyed." He said her son said his whole body is sore from crying too.
The Dutch government declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. A report in De Telegraaf newspaper said some Ukrainians living in the Netherlands had called for a peaceful protest outside Maria Putin's apartment.
Putin has two daughters, Maria and her sister Yekaterina, but they have been completely sheltered from the media and have never been officially photographed as adults, according to The Guardian.