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Iranian police helicopter crashes: report

world Updated: Aug 10, 2009 20:40 IST

A police helicopter crashed on Monday in the southern province of Kerman, the ISNA news agency reported.

The 205 type helicopter struck mountains in the Sirach area, ISNA quoted the provincial police commander, Mohammad Reza Eshaghi, as saying.

The agency did not give the number of possible fatalities yet but said that the crash occurred at around 16:00 (1130 GMT).

Iran, which has been under years of international sanctions hampering its ability to buy new planes, has suffered a number of aviation disasters over the past decade.

Its civil and military fleet is made up of ancient aircraft in very poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.

In mid July, an Iranian airliner en route to Armenia caught fire mid-air and plunged flaming into farmland, killing all 168 people on board in the worst air disaster in Iran in years.

Later in the month an Iranian airliner overshot the runway in the second city of Mashhad and slammed into a perimeter wall, killing 17 people.