Somalia sends message of comfort as Iran president dies in chopper crash

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The government of Somalia has sent a message of comfort to the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, following a chopper crash in the interior parts of the country which claimed the lives of President Ebrahim Raisi and members of his delegation.

In a statement issued shortly before the deaths were confirmed, Somalia prayed for the safety of all passengers in the aircraft, but sadly, it has been established that there were no survivors as rescuers managed to reach the site of the crash.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is following with great concern the reports regarding the helicopter carrying H.E. Dr. Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with his Foreign Minister and accompanying delegation," the ministry of foreign affairs wrote.

"During this critical moment, the Federal Republic of Somalia extends its sincerest and heartfelt wishes for the safety and well-being of President Raisi and all members of his delegation, standing in firm solidarity with the government and people of Iran."

On Monday morning, Iran's state media confirmed President Ebrahim Raisi was dead after rescuers reached the crash site. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is also dead, state media noted in a statement issued late into midnight.

The discovery came after a long night of searching in freezing conditions. Shortly before the discovery, Iranian Red Crescent Society head Pir-Hossein Kolivand said the situation was “not good.” According to Reuters, the helicopter was completely burned in the crash.

Immediately after news broke that a helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi and some other officials suffered a hard landing in northwestern Iran’s East Azerbaijan province on Sunday, people took to various social media platforms to pray for their safety.

President Raeisi was returning from a ceremony on the border with Azerbaijan where he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev inaugurated two hydraulic projects earlier in the day. The cause of the crash is yet to be established but it is believed the helicopter encountered bad weather.

GAROWE ONLINE

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