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US claims Ukraine airliner was accidentally brought down by Iran: Report

One US official said US satellites had detected the launch of two missiles shortly before the plane crashed, followed by evidence of an explosion

Reuters  |  Washington, Kiev 

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump

A Ukraine airliner that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 people aboard, was most likely brought down accidentally by Iranian air defenses, US officials said on Thursday, as President said he had a terrible feeling about the disaster.

But, Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation denied the US version of the incident as “illogical rumours” and said “scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane”.

One US official said American satellites had detected the launch of two missiles shortly before the plane crashed, followed by evidence of an explosion.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said the crash could have been a mistake, adding he had a terrible feeling about the downed airliner but offering no evidence. “Somebody could have made a mistake,” Trump told reporters at a the White House, adding that he had suspicions about the crash but giving no other details.

Ukraine, meanwhile, outlined four potential scenarios to explain the crash, including a missile strike and terrorism, as Iranian investigators said the plane was on fire before it fell to the ground. Kiev said its investigators wanted to search the site of the crash.

Baghdad’s Green Zone hit by 2 rockets, no casualities

Two rockets fell inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions, but caused no casualties. Sirens were sounding inside the Green Zone on Wednesday. Police sources said at least one of the rockets fell 100 metres from the US Embassy.

First Published: Thu, January 09 2020. 23:01 IST
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