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Iran says it ‘unintentionally’ shot down Ukrainian jetliner, blaming ‘human error’

Rescue teams are seen on January 8, 2020 at the scene of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after take-off near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran. - Search-and-rescue teams were combing through the smoking wreckage of the Boeing 737 flight from Tehran to Kiev but officials said there was no hope of finding anyone alive. The vast majority of the passengers on the Ukraine International Airlines flight were non-Ukrainians, including 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians, officials said. (Photo by Akbar TAVAKOLI / IRNA / AFP) (Photo by AKBAR TAVAKOLI/IRNA/AFP via Getty Images)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran announced Saturday that its military ‘unintentionally’ shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard.

The statement came Saturday morning and blamed “human error” for the shootdown.

The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces.

TOPSHOT – Candles light a photo of one of the victims of Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 which crashed in Iran earlier, during a vigil at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, Ontario on January 9, 2020. – A Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran on January 8 killing all 176 people on board, in a disaster striking a region rattled by heightened military tensions. (Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the U.S. and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials.

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