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Cyprus returns remains of Greek soldiers killed in accident

An elderly man leaves Greek and Cypriot flags on the coffins of the Greek commandos who were killed in a transport aircraft during the Turkish invasion on 1974, during a handover remains ceremony at the wartime memorial on Nicosia's outskirts in divided island of Cyprus, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. The remains of 16 Greek commandos founded inside the Noratlas' aircraft during an excavation and after identified through DNA analysis and returned to their families. Greek military transport aircraft that was brought down by friendly fire in the opening days of Turkey's invasion of the island 42 years ago. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
October 04, 2016 - 7:06 AM

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cyprus has returned remains of Greek commandos and air force crew killed in a military accident in 1974 when Turkey invaded the Mediterranean island.

At a ceremony Tuesday, President Nicos Anastasiades issued an apology for the incident — known as the Noratlas air crash — when a military transport plane was shot down by Cypriot fire and 31 officers were killed.

The remains were located and identified after DNA analysis that lasted several years.

The aircraft was one of around a dozen carrying 318 Greek commandos sent to the island following the invasion that was triggered when supporters of Cyprus' union with Greece mounted a short-lived coup.

The island remains divided along ethnic lines, with Turkish-held north and the Greek Cypriot south, where the internationally recognized government is based.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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