Falling fuel tank from Iranian aircraft causes blast near nuclear site

Published February 16th, 2005 - 02:18 GMT

An explosion was reported on Wednesday in a deserted area near the southern city of Dailam in the province of Bushehr, where Iran has a nuclear power plant, Iranian state television said. Initial reports said an unidentified aircraft had reportedly fired a missile in the area. 


"A huge blast was heard this morning on the outskirts of Dailam in the Bushehr province. Witnesses said that the missile was fired from an unknown plane 12 miles from the city," Iran's Arabic language Al-Alam said.


Israeli and US sources denied any involvement in the incident. Later, Iranian reports said the blast was caused after a fuel tank was accidently dropped from an Iranian plane in the area.


Meanwhile, Iran's intelligence minister has been quoted as saying the United States has been flying spy drones over Iran's nuclear sites. "Most of the shining objects that our people see over Iran's airspace are American spying equipment used to spy on Iran's nuclear and military facilities," The Associated Press quoted Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi as saying Wednesday.


On Sunday, The Washington Post newspaper quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the United States has been using unmanned flights for the past year to gather intelligence on Iran's nuclear capability. "U.S. spying activities over Iranian airspace have been going since a long time ago," AP quoted Yunesi as saying. "These activities won't reveal anything to them," Yunesi said. "That's to say, it won't give them anything new."


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