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Plane forced down was Hungarian, not US

©

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-10

Iran has said a plane forced down after violating its airspace was Hungarian and not American, as claimed by an Arabic-language television station.

Iran said on Tuesday that an aircraft forced down in its territory was a Hungarian aid plane with no Americans aboard, contradicting earlier reports it was carrying US soldiers.
   
A senior military official told state television's Arabic-language channel Al-Alam that the incident dated back to September 30, not on Sunday and Monday as had earlier been reported.
   
The US military in Baghdad also confirmed that there had been no Americans aboard the aircraft.
   
"The airplane is now being confirmed as a light transport plane with no Americans onboard," US military spokesman Lieutenant David Russell told AFP.
   
"From what I am seeing, it was a Falcon business jet. We have accounted for all our aircraft and none are missing."
   
The White House had previously poured scorn on the Iranian reports, although it had added it was looking into them.
   
"We're looking into the various and conflicting reports coming from the Iranian 'news' agencies, but do not have any information at this time that would lead us to believe they are correct," said spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
   
aet/kir/al
DATELINE:20081007T134549Z

Date created : 2008-10-07

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