Transportation

Iran confirms 2 missiles fired at Ukraine airliner

By AFP

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Iranian students hold pictures of victims during a memorial for the passengers of the Ukraine plane at the University of Tehran on January 14th. [Atta Kenare/AFP]

Iran's civil aviation authority confirmed two missiles were fired at a Ukrainian airliner that was brought down earlier this month, in a preliminary report posted on its website late Monday (January 20th).

"Investigators... discovered that two Tor-M1 missiles... were fired at the aircraft," it said, adding an investigation was ongoing to assess the bearing their impact had on the accident.

The statement confirms a report in the New York Times which included video footage appearing to show two projectiles being fired at the airliner.

The Tor-M1 is a short-range surface-to-air missile developed by the former Soviet Union that is designed to target aircraft or cruise missiles.

The Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines plane was shot down in a catastrophic error shortly after takeoff from Tehran on January 8th, killing all 176 people on board.

Iran had for days denied Western claims based on US intelligence reports that the Boeing 737 operating Flight PS752 had been shot down, before eventually coming clean.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) aerospace commander Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh accepted full responsibility, but said the missile operator who opened fire had been acting independently.

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