Toowoomba couple Dr Roger and Dr Jill Guard were killed in the MH17 disaster.
Toowoomba couple Dr Roger and Dr Jill Guard were killed in the MH17 disaster. Contributed

Memorial service announced for MH17 victims

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has announced a memorial service will be held next month to mark the first anniversary of the downing of MH17.

Thirty-eight Australian men, women and children were among the 298 people killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot out of the skies above Ukraine.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament on Tuesday a national memorial service would be held on July 17 in Canberra to mark the first anniversary.

He said the government would also unveil a permanent plaque in the House of Representatives' gardens at Parliament House with the names of those whose lives were tragically taken.

It will be placed alongside the plaque in place remembering the 88 Australians that were killed in the 2002 Bali bombings.

"One year on we will remember all those who died, especially the men, women, and children who called Australia home," he said.

"The Service will honour those who lost their lives in this atrocity, and thank those who were involved in the recovery and investigation process.

"It will be a time to show support to those still grieving."

It is widely believed Russian-backed separatists shot the plane down after mistaking it for a Ukrainian military cargo plane.

Russia has continually denied any involvement in the tragedy despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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