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Dhaka Tribune

Iranian Red Crescent says bodies recovered from Raisi helicopter crash site

  • Raisi and other high-ranking politicians have been killed in a helicopter crash
  • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered a period of national mourning
Update : 20 May 2024, 05:27 PM

The Iranian Red Crescent said on Monday that the bodies of president Ebrahim Raisi and others who died in a helicopter crash had been recovered, and search operations had ended.

"We are in the process of transferring the bodies of the martyrs to Tabriz" in Iran's northwest, Red Crescent chief Pirhossein Koolivand told state TV, adding that "the search operations have come to an end."

The ultraconservative Raisi, 63, had been in office since 2021, during a time that has seen Iran rocked by mass protests, economic crisis deepened by US sanctions, and armed exchanges with arch enemy Israel.

Killed alongside Raisi were foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, known for his fierce anti-Israel sentiment and scepticism of the West, and seven others, including the pilot, bodyguards and political and religious officials.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ultimate authority in Iran, declared five days of mourning and assigned vice president Mohammad Mokhber, 68, to assume interim duties ahead of elections within 50 days.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri was appointed as acting foreign minister, government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said on state television. A black flag was hoisted as a sign of mourning at a major Shia shrine in city of Qom, south of Tehran.

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