AcasăMiddle East NewsIran: President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister killed in helicopter crash

Iran: President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister killed in helicopter crash

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, lost their lives in the crash of the helicopter carrying them in a mountainous area in very cold weather, an Iranian official said on Monday, after search teams located the wreckage of the aircraft in East Azerbaijan province, Reuters reports.

„President Raisi, the foreign minister and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash,” a senior Iranian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Iran’s state television also confirmed the deaths of the Iranian President and Foreign Minister.

So did the Iranian news agency Mehr, which reported that „all the passengers of the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister have become martyrs”.

Earlier, an Iranian official told Reuters that the helicopter carrying Raisi and Amirabdollahian was completely burned at the crash site on Sunday.

The state television station broadcast footage from the crash site showing the helicopter crashing into a mountain peak, but there was no official statement on the cause of the crash.

State news agency IRNA reported that Raisi was flying a US-made Bell 212 helicopter.

Rescue teams battled blizzards and difficult terrain all night to reach the wreckage in the early hours of Monday.

„Once the crash site was discovered, no signs of life were detected among the passengers of the helicopter,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state television.

Earlier, the national broadcaster stopped all regular programming to broadcast prayers being held for Raisi across the country.

In the early hours of Monday, Iranian state television showed a rescue team, wearing phosphorescent jackets and carrying head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they walked down a pitch black slope in a blizzard.

Several countries have expressed concern and offered assistance in any rescue operation.

The White House said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on information about the crash. China said it was deeply concerned. The European Union has provided emergency satellite mapping technology.

AGERPRES

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