Iran admits it ‘unintentionally’ shot down Ukrainian passenger plane

The Iranian military has admitted accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane that had just left Tehran airport, killing all 176 on board

A series of stills taken from footage released by The New York Times, which shows the moment of impact between a missile and the passenger plane. The yellow circle in the first still indicates the missile before impact. Iran has admitted downing the plane by mistake.
A series of stills taken from footage released by The New York Times, which shows the moment of impact between a missile and the passenger plane. The yellow circle in the first still indicates the missile before impact. Iran has admitted downing the plane by mistake.

A Ukrainian passenger jet was shot down in Iran by a missile after it was mistaken as a “hostile target”, Iran said.

The country’s military “unintentionally” shot down the aircraft, killing all 176 people on board, a statement read out on Iran’s state TV said.

Iran blamed the incident on “human error” after the plane flew close to a sensitive site belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Those responsible would be held accountable, the statement added.

Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its missiles brought down the plane near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.

The incident came hours after Iran fired missiles towards US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of its top general Qasem Soleimani.

Pressure mounted after the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran had shot down the plane with a missile, possibly accidently.

Iran had initially denied the accusations.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was en route to Kiev and came down near Imam Khomeini Airport shortly after take-off.

Victims of the disaster included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians as well as nationals from Sweden, the UK, Afghanistan and Germany.

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