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Iran Admits It Shot Down Ukrainian Plane By Mistake

Iran admitted that it had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian airliner, three days after the crash that killed 176 people.

Ukraine International Airlines flight, en route to Kyiv, was shot down on Wednesday near Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran shortly after take-off, and only hours after Iran had fired missiles at two air bases housing US forces in Iraq.

Those attacks were Iran's response to the US killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January.

82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals reportedly died in the plane crash.

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, tweeted, "Armed Forces' internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences," Rouhani said in the twitter.

Iran had previously denied US claims that the country had struck down the plane accidentally.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters took to the streets of Iran Saturday after Tehran's admission that the military accidentally shot down the Ukraine plane.

The U.S. President Trump tweeted,"The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people. There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching...... We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage."

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