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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Ukraine demands Iran punish those guilty of shooting down airliner and calls for victims' remains to be returned with compensation

Ukraine demands Iran punish those guilty of shooting down airliner killing 176 people and calls for victims' remains to be returned home along with compensation for families

Ukraine has demanded that Iran punish those guilty for the downing of a Ukrainian airliner and compensate victims.

'We expect Iran to bring the guilty to the courts,' the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling also for the 'payment of compensation' and the return of remains.

It also praised Tehran for cooperating with an 'objective' investigation.

Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky was due to discuss the incident with his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani at 5pm local time, his press office said.

Iran admitted Saturday that it accidentally downed the Ukraine International Airlines plane, killing all 176 people on board on Wednesday, shortly after launching missiles at bases hosting US forces in Iraq.

Rouhani said Tehran 'deeply regrets this disastrous mistake'.

Tehran has invited the United States, Ukraine, Canada and others to join the crash investigation.

Kiev said that Iran had cooperated with its experts and it expects an objective probe.

Tehran has handed Ukrainian experts enough data including 'all the photos, videos and other materials' to show the investigation 'will be carried out objectively and promptly,' Zelensky's office said.

'The political part of the work is finished,' it added.

UIA vice president Igor Sosnovsky told a news conference in Kiev on Saturday that Tehran should have closed the airport due to the escalation of regional tensions following the US assassination of a top Iranian general.

'It's absolutely irresponsible,' Sosnovsky said, accusing Iran of failing to protect ordinary citizens while 'playing at war.'

'They were obliged to close the airport. Obliged! Then shoot as much as you like.'

Iran said a missile operator shot down the Boeing 737 after mistaking it for a cruise missile at a time when threats were at the highest level.

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