A relative of the Malaysian defence minister was among the 298 people killed when the MH17 flight was shot down on Thursday.
Hishammuddin Hussein, who played a key role in the aftermath of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 earlier this year, said his step-grandmother had died in the disaster.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Mr Hussein to offer his personal condolences.
Malaysia's prime minister said those responsible for the crash would be "swiftly brought to justice".
Thousands of online users have taken to social media to call for the victims of the Malaysian airliner crash to be returned to loved ones.
United States intelligence officials admitted that they do not know who fired the surface-to-air missile that downed flight MH17.
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