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May 13, 2016 12:03 AM

Australian couple whose 3 children died on MH17 welcome baby

The Associated Press

SYDNEY (AP) An Australian couple whose three children were killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine two years ago has welcomed a new baby, saying the birth has given them faith that love trumps hate.

Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris, of the western Australian city of Perth, said the arrival of their daughter Violet May Maslin on Tuesday had brought them "love and light, hope and joy" after enduring two years of grief over the loss of their three children.

Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis, 8, died along with their grandfather, Nick Norris, when Flight 17 was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. At the time, the couple said they were living in an "ongoing hell," with the pain they felt unfathomable.

In a statement released Thursday by the Australian foreign affairs department, the couple said they believe Violet is a gift sent by Evie, Mo, Otis and Nick.

"Violet's birth is a testament to our belief that love is stronger than hate," the couple wrote. "We still live with pain, but Violet, and the knowledge that all four kids are with us always, brings light to our darkness. As Martin Luther King said, 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.'"

A Dutch civil investigation concluded that the plane was downed by a Soviet-designed Buk surface-to-air missile. All 298 people on board perished.

Maslin and Norris said they would continue to love all four of their children equally.

"Violet brings some hope and joy for us," the couple wrote. "We hope she brings hope and joy for you too."

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