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Two Iran air force pilots killed in fighter jet crash

An Iranian fighter jet on Tuesday developed a “technical problem” that killed both of the aircraft’s pilots, state TV reported. The report said the incident happened in the country’s southwest, in the city of Dezful, 444 kilometers (270 miles) from the capital, Tehran and near the border with Iraq.

Both pilots were killed when an Iranian fighter plane suffered a technical fault before take-off in southwestern Iran on Tuesday, state broadcaster IRIB reported.

IRIB did not give the details of the F-5 plane’s mishap at an airbase near the city of Dezful.

The report said an investigation was underway as to what had caused the malfunction of the Iranian air force’s F-5 fighter jet. The TV said it happened before takeoff. It did not elaborate.

The report, citing an informed source, identified the pilots as Kianoush Basati and Hossein Nami, without providing their rank. Authorities were investigating, it said.

The age of the plane was not immediately clear. Iran’s air force still operates scores of planes bought from the United States before the 1979 Islamic revolution. It also has Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi planes. Decades of Western sanctions have made it hard to maintain the aging fleet.

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