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World News

Canada and victims' families press Iran for answers over downed jetliner

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canada and families of the victims of a downed Ukrainian jetliner are pressing Iran for additional answers, after an announcement by Tehran on Sunday provided “limited and selected information.”

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The announcement by the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization marked the first official report on the contents of the cockpit voice and data recordings, which were sent to France for analysis in July.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has said it accidentally shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on Jan. 8, mistaking it for a missile at a time when tensions were high between Iran and the United States.

Many of the 176 victims killed in the crash were Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Tehran said the analysis shows the plane was hit by two missiles 25 seconds apart and that passengers were still alive for some time after the impact of the first blast.

“This preliminary report only provides limited and selected information regarding this tragic event,” Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement on Sunday night.

“The report only mentions what transpired after the first missile strike but not the second.”

They asked why the missiles were launched and why Iran’s air space was open.

An association representing families of the plane’s victims dismissed the report in a statement that said they needed to know why a second missile was fired at the aircraft.

Earlier on Sunday, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) questioned why commercial airlines continued operating in the area affected by the conflict.

Under U.N. rules, Iran retains overall control of the investigation while the United States and Ukraine are accredited as the countries where the jet was respectively built and operated. Canada has also played a role as the home of many of the victims on the downed plane.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Paul Simao

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