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Iran announces first arrests in downing of Ukrainian airliner

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Iran’s judiciary has announced the arrests of an unspecified number of suspects in the accidental downing of a commercial passenger jet during a major confrontation with the United States last week.

In comments carried by state media, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday that “extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested”. He did not offer additional details.

Wednesday’s downing of the Ukrainian airliner, en route to Kyiv from Tehran, killed all 176 passengers and crew on board. It happened just hours after Iran launched missile attacks on US targets in Iraq in retaliation for the US assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.

After days of denials, Iran on Saturday admitted that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had shot down the plane in a “disastrous mistake”, saying air defences were fired in error while on alert after the attacks against two Iraqi bases hosting US troops.

Source: Al Jazeera


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