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Iran admits ‘unintentionally’ shooting down Ukrainian jet in which four Britons dies

2 min read

Iran has admitted to “unintentionally” shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet earlier this week, according to the nation’s state TV.



 


In a statement, the Iranian government said the plane had been shot down due to “human error” after it flew close to a site belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. 

The jet was shot down near the capital, Tehran, after being mistakenly identified as a “hostile target”, killing all 176 people on board. 

It added that those responsible would be held accountable. 

Iran previously denied the plane had been downed by one of its missiles – but mounting pressure mounted after the US, UK and Canada said they believed otherwise. 

On Thursday, Boris Johnson said there was a “body of information” that Iran had downed the plane. 

The Prime Minister said four Britons were among those killed when International Airlines Flight 752 exploded.

Mr Johnson said there needed to be a "full, transparent investigation" into the incident as he called for an "immediate and respectful repatriation" of the dead.

In a statement, Mr Johnson said: "There is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian Surface to Air Missile. This may well have been unintentional. 

"We are working closely with Canada and our international partners and there now needs to be a full, transparent investigation.

"It is vital that there should be an immediate and respectful repatriation of those who’ve lost their lives to allow their families to grieve properly.

"The UK continues to call on all sides urgently to de-escalate to reduce tensions in the region."

His comments came as the New York Times published footage which appeared to show an Iranian missile hitting a plane in the area where the liner crashed on Wednesday morning.

As well as the British casualties, 79 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, Seven Afghans and three German nationals were also confirmed dead.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions in the region following the assassination by America of Iranian military chief Qasem Soleimani, and a retaliatory strike by Tehran on an Irazi base housing US and UK troops.

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