UPDATE ON AUG 24, 03:44 PM IST
Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin had said that the Ukrainian plane that arrived in Afghanistan to evacuate Ukrainians has been hijacked by unidentified people.
Kiev: Ukraine as well as the aviation chief of Iran, have denied reports of hijacking of any Ukrainian evacuation plane in Afghanistan. Conflicting reports emerged earlier about the suspected hijacking of a Ukrainian plane that arrived in Afghanistan to evacuate Ukrainian nationals. Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin was quoted as saying by news agencies that the plane was ‘hijacked by unidentified people who flew it into Iran’.
Iran’s aviation spokesman rejected the reports of Ukrainian airliner being hijacked and flown to Iran. Iran’s aviation chief also said that the Ukrainian plane stopped in Mashhad last night for refuelling and then headed to Ukraine. “It’s now landed in Kiev,” reports cited him as saying.
Earlier, news agency TASS reported that the plane flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers, instead of lifting Ukrainian passengers. According to the minister, the hijackers were armed. The minister made no reference to whether the Ukrainian government will make efforts to trace the flight. There was no official word on how the Ukrainian citizens – if any – on board the plane would be rescued or brought back home.
“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,” the minister was quoted as saying by TASS.
According to news agency IANS, a military transport plane with 83 people, including 31 Ukrainians, arrived from Afghanistan to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. The office of the president reported that 12 military personnel were received back home. 100 Ukrainians are still waiting for evacuation from Afghanistan, agency reports citing officials of the presidential office cited.