Iranian state TV reports that Ukraine International Airlines flight was unintentionally shot down

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      The government of Iran is no longer denying that one of its missiles brought down a Ukraine International Airlines jet, killing all 176 people onboard.

      On Saturday (January 11) morning in Iran, the country's state television network cited a military statement as it reported that the Boeing 737-800 was shot down.

      The TV network attributed this to human error.

      After the report aired, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani tweeted that the "Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake".

      "Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake," he stated in a second tweet.

      The Iranian president's statement came after assertions by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. military officials that a missile strike was likely reponsible for the crash.

      However, Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has still tried to lay the blame on the Americans.

      "Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster," Zarif charged. "Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations."

      The jet took off from Tehran's main airport on January 8. This came hours after Iran had launched missiles against two U.S. bases in Iraq in response to a U.S. drone strike on a senior Iranian general.

      Global Affairs Canada said today that there were 57 Canadians onboard the plane. This is slightly lower than the initial number of 63 announced shortly after the crash.

      According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, 138 of the passengers had booked a connecting flight from Kyiv to Canada.

      Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is heading an International Coordination and Response Group for family members of those who lost their lives on the flight.

      Champagne told reporters today that Liberal MP Omar Alghabra, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, will work directly with family members.

      Alghabra served in the past as parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister. He's also parliamentary secretary to Chrystia Freeland, the minister of intergovernmental affairs.

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