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Iran Makes Arrests In Ukrainian Airliner Shootdown

Says Those Responsible Will Be 'Punished'

Authorities in Iran have made several arrests in connection with the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian airliner last Wednesday, and President Hassan Rouhani has said that those involved in the "painful and unforgivable" incident "should be punished."

Fox News reports that President Rouhani said in a televised speech that the judiciary "should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts. This is not an ordinary case. The entire world will be watching this court."

Iran initially said that the plane had gone down with the loss of all aboard, many of them Iranian citizens, due to a mechanical issue. But video that found its way to the Internet showed a missile hitting the plane. Three days after the incident, Iran admitted that the Revolutionary Guard had mistakenly shot down the plane thinking it was an enemy combatant. The incident occurred as Iran was firing rockets into Iraq as retaliation for the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani. No one in Iraq was injured during the missile attack.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Tuesday that “extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals have been arrested," though he did not specify how many and would not name those who had been arrested.

The country has also arrested a reported 30 Iranians who have taken part in anti-government protests that broke out following the admission that the plane had been shot down.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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