Remains of Six Greek Soldiers Fallen in 1974 Invasion of Cyprus Returning Home

FILE- Greece's air force war planes flies over the military parade behind a Cyprus flag. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

STROVOLOS, Cyprus – The remains of six soldiers from Greece who were killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 will be returned home on Thursday. They will be delivered following an official handover ceremony that will take place at Church of Divine Wisdom in Strovolos, Cyprus on Thursday morning, in the presence of their family and officials from the Greek and Cypriot governments.

The bodies are of four soldiers listed as fallen in action and two formerly missing in action, whose bones were discovered, identified and are now being handed over so that they might be buried with due honours. Two were on the Noratlas plane that was shot down by friendly fire in July 1974.

The Greek government will be represented by Deputy National Defence Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis, with the Hellenic Army General Staff chief Lieutenant General Georgios Kambas also attending.

The Cypriot government will be represented by Defence Minister Savvas Angelides and Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou.

Family members of the six soldiers will be arriving in Cyprus on Wednesday, while their bones will be delivered to the church by the Cyprus National Guard on Thursday morning. They will then be taken to Larnaka airport, where a blessing service will take place, and carried to Greece in a Hellenic Air Force C-130 transport plane.

A second ceremony will follow in Greece, attended by Greek National Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and representatives of the Cypus Embassy in Athens.

The soldiers’ funerals will be held in the following days, according to the arrangements made by each family.