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Iran says military shot down plane in error

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 11, 2020 - Duration: 01:46s

Iran says military shot down plane in error

Iran said on Saturday its military had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane killing all 176 aboard, saying air defenses were fired in error while on high alert in the tense aftermath of Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Iran says military shot down plane in error

After inititally denying it, Iran on Saturday (January 11) admitted to ''unintentionally'' shooting down a Ukrainian aircraft, killing all 176 people on board.

In a statement released on state TV, Iran said the plane was hit ''due to human error'' when it flew near to a sensitive Revolutionary Guards base at an altitude and shape of a hostile target.

The commander of the Revolutionary Guards apologised...saying that when he heard what had happened ''he wished he could die'' UPSOT On Twitter, the Iranian foreign minister expressed his condolences to those involved, but also put some of the blame on the U.S. Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday's (January 8) incident was the result of "human error at time of crisis caused by U.S. adventurism (that) led to disaster.'' Tensions between Iran and the U.S. escalated on January 3rd, when a U.S. drone strike killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Iran retaliated by firing missiles at U.S. military targets in Iraq on Wednesday.

And then came the downing of the Ukrainian plane just hours after.

Canada, which had 57 citizens on board, believed an Iranian missile had brought the aircraft down and had been putting pressure on Iran to come clean.

Responding to Iran's U-turn, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy demanded an official apology and full cooperation.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran ''deeply regrets the disastrous mistake'' and promised that those behind the incident would be prosecuted.

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