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Iran warplane crashes near dormant volcano: state media

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Tehran (AFP)

An Iranian military fighter jet crashed on Wednesday near a dormant volcano in the northwest of the country, official media reported.

State news agency IRNA said the jet went down at 9:00 am (0530 GMT) near Mount Sabalan, in the Lesser Caucasus range, and was a MiG-29 on a test flight after being overhauled.

Amateur video footage published on the social media accounts of various media outlets in Iran appeared to show smoke rising above snow-capped peaks.

A search and rescue operation was launched for the plane and its crew.

"Following the crash of a military plane in Ardabil (province), helicopter and rescue groups have been sent to the region," Iran's Red Crescent said in a statement on its website.

Iran's third highest peak, Mount Sabalan, features a crater that turns into a lake at certain times of the year.

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