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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and senior officials went missing on Sunday after Iranian media reported hard landing in northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, with security and military forces staring a large-scale rescue operation amid bad weather conditions.

President Raisi was returning from a ceremony to open a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when his helicopter made hard landing in Varzaqan region on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Governor of East Azarbaijan Province Malek Rahmati, Tabriz Friday prayer leader Hojjatoleslam Al Hashem and a number of others were also on board the helicopter.

Raisi and senior officials
Iranian media reported that rescue and relief teams have been dispatched to the area and search operations were underway.

Foggy weather and the impassability of the area has made the search operations difficult.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has confirmed to the national TV that one of the copters of the president's convoy had a hard landing.

'Various rescue groups are moving towards the site, but due to the fog and bad weather, it may take time to reach the area.

The work is under control,' Vahidi said.

'There have been contacts with [the president's] companions, but given that the area is mountainous and it is difficult to establish contacts, we hope that the rescue teams will reach the site of the incident sooner and give us more information,' the interior minister added.

Local Iranian media have reported that it is heavily raining in the area in Varzaghan District and it is hard for the rescue and search teams to walk in the dense fog.

Original Article Source: Al Manar | Published on Sunday, 19 May 2024 16:37 (about 26 days ago)