Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iraq denies Swedish passenger jet targeted by missile in Kurdistan

Above: A Nordic Airways MD-83 passenjer jet

Aviation officials from Iraq's Kurdish region on Saturday dismissed reports that a Swedish airliner had been targeted by a missile as it took off with 130 passengers on board.

According to the Swedish TT news agency, the pilots of a Nordic Airways MD-83 jet saw flashes in the sky on Thursday as they took off from Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq and feared they may be under attack.

But the chairman of the Sulaimaniyah Airport Authority, Kamaran Ahmed, said a local investigation found no evidence that a missile was fired and blamed the scare on bright lights being used on the ground.

"We think that the object that had been noticed by the pilot 'suspiciously' was a special type of 'high intensity lighting projector' mounted on vehicles usually used by hunters in the area," he said, in a statement in English.

Read the rest at Yahoo News