Bodies of women killed in Iran air crash return to Turkey

A private jet crashed in Iran while returning from a pre-wedding party in the UAE. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 March 2018

Bodies of women killed in Iran air crash return to Turkey

ISTANBUL: The bodies of 10 of the 11 women killed when a private jet crashed in Iran while returning from a pre-wedding party in the UAE returned to Turkey on Wednesday, a tragedy that shocked Turks.
The women attended the hen party of Mina Basaran, the daughter of Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, and were returning home when the private jet crashed into the Zagros mountains.
Mina Basaran, 28, and many of her seven girlfriends who accompanied her on the trip had successful careers with some already starting families. The disaster prompted an outpouring of grief in Turkey.
The other three of the 11 killed, all women, were the two pilots and a flight attendant.
Ten bodies were flown back to Istanbul airport from Iran aboard a Turkish military jet, the Dogan news agency said.
The families of the dead were meanwhile flown home on a scheduled Turkish Airlines flight, it added.
The body of co-pilot Beril Gebes has yet to be recovered, it said, after previous reports said all had been found.
Iranian Legal Medicine Organization confirmed that 10 of the women had been identified. “One of the cadaver bags contained remains which belonged to other 10 bodies. One body is still missing,” it said.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said the plane crashed after a technical problem whose origin remains unknown.
Turkish media reports said Mina Basaran was to marry her fiance Murat Gezer on April 14 at the Ciragan Saray, an Ottoman-era palace by the Bosphorus and one of Turkey’s most prominent wedding venues.
Photographs reprinted from social media showed the eight women lounging at a resort in the UAE and posing with the two pilots inside the plane.
The Basaran Holding company of Mina’s father Huseyin is active in the energy, construction and tourism sectors. Mina had become a board member in 2013.

Netanyahu to cut US trip short after rocket attack near Tel Aviv

Updated 21 min 52 sec ago

Netanyahu to cut US trip short after rocket attack near Tel Aviv

  • Netanyahu said the incident will evoke a strong Israeli reaction
  • Palestinian rockets rarely reach an area at that distance from Gaza

MISHMERET/JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he is to cut short his trip to the United States after a rocket attack near Tel Aviv.

“In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the US,” Netanyahu said, calling the attack a heinous crime that would draw a strong Israeli response.

He said he would meet with President Donald Trump in the coming hours and then fly back immediately.

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in a community north of Tel Aviv and caused it to catch fire, wounding seven Israelis, authorities and medics said.

Israel’s army said the rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas, raising the risk of another escalation between the two sides just ahead of April 9 Israeli elections.

The house hit was located in the community of Mishmeret, police said. Medics said they were treating one Israeli with moderate wounds and four others injured lightly.

Mishmeret is more than 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave at that distance is rare.

Monday’s incident comes after two rockets were fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv — also rare — on March 14.

No damage or injuries were caused, but Israel responded to that and further rocket fire by hitting what it said were around 100 Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip.

Four Palestinians were reported wounded in those strikes.

Both Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad denied they were behind the March 14 rocket fire toward Tel Aviv, raising the possibility they were launched by fringe groups.

Israel’s military said they were launched by Hamas, but later there were Israeli media reports that the army’s preliminary assessment was that they had been fired by mistake during maintenance work.

The reports were a sign that Israel was seeking to calm tensions. The military had refused to comment on the reports at the time.

Monday’s rocket comes just days ahead of the March 30 one-year anniversary of Palestinian protests and clashes along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel.

An informal truce between Hamas and Israel had led to relative calm along the border of the blockaded strip, but recent weeks have seen another uptick in violence.