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In Kabul to Evacuate Citizens, Ukrainian Plane 'Hijacked and Flown to Iran'; Tehran Denies

Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister has alleged that Ukrainian plane has been hijacked in Kabul, Russian News Agency TASS reported. (Picture for representation)

Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister has alleged that Ukrainian plane has been hijacked in Kabul, Russian News Agency TASS reported. (Picture for representation)

Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister has alleged that Ukrainian plane has been hijacked in Kabul, Russian News Agency TASS reported.

A Ukrainian plane that arrived in Afghanistan to evacuate Ukrainians was reportedly hijacked on Tuesday by unidentified people who flew it into Iran, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin said. The Ukrainian Minister also alleged that the plane was flown to Iran instead of airlifting Ukrainians.

“Last Sunday, our plane was hijacked by other people. On Tuesday, the plane was practically stolen from us, it flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers onboard instead of airlifting Ukrainians. Our next three evacuation attempts were also not successful because our people could not get into the airport," Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister reportedly said, according to Russian News Agency TASS.

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The report quoted the Deputy Foreign Minister saying that the hijackers were armed. However, he didn’t report anything about what happened to the plane or whether Kiev would seek to get it back or how the Ukrainian citizens got back from Kabul, onboard of this “practically stolen" plane or another one sent by Kiev.

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Yenin only underlined that the whole diplomatic service headed by Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba “had been working in the crash test mode" the whole week.

Iran, meanwhile, has denied the claim that the country was behind the alleged hijack. “Apparently it happened yesterday at 22:00 local/1730Z, the aircraft landed in Mashhad for “Refueling" and immediately embarked for Kyiv afterward… We deny the Ukrainian claims," Iranian Civil Aviation Organization Spokesperson Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh told ILNA agency.

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first published:August 24, 2021, 13:29 IST