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Iran admits it ‘unintentionally’ shot down Ukrainian plane

Jan 11. 2020
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By The Nation

A Ukrainian plane that crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, was "unintentionally" shot down, Iranian statement media quoted the general staff of Iran’s armed forces as saying.

Iran had denied its missile strike could have brought down the aircraft.

The statement carried by state media said the civilian plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” and the missile strike was a “human error” because of the heightened tensions with the US.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said Washington believed that Iran was “likely” responsible for the the Boeing 737-800 crash.

CNN said it had a video that appeared to show a missile strike an object in Tehran’s night sky, around the same time that the Ukrainian plane crashed on Wednesday in Shahedshahr.

The crash came just hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops in retaliation for a drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran's most powerful military leaders.

 

All176 people on board the Boeing 737-800 were killed shortly after it took off from Imam Khomeini Airport. The victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals.

Ukrainian investigators were given access to the black boxes on Friday, according to Ukraine’s foreign minister, but had yet to start examining the information, which includes recordings of communications between the pilot and Tehran flight control.

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