Iranian state media cited a nonexistent Associated Press report to claim 'nearly 100 corpses' were found after a US military plane crash in Afghanistan

ama@businessinsider.com (Alexandra Ma)
afghanistan plane crash us air force

Reuters

  • The state-run IRINN TV network aired a report on Tuesday claiming that about 100 bodies had been found at the site of a US military plane crash in Afghanistan on Monday.
  • IRINN cited an Associated Press (AP) report that said "nearly 100 corpses" were found at the site, according to BBC Monitoring.
  • The AP has since said that such report did not exist.
  • The aircraft, a US Air Force Bombardier E-11A, is widely believed to have been carrying no more than six people at the time of the crash.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Iranian state TV cited a report by the Associated Press (AP) claiming that 100 bodies were found at the site of a US military plane crash in Afghanistan, but the news agency says this report doesn't exist.

The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), which is part of the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, reported Tuesday, according to BBC Monitoring: "US authorities have not yet released official casualty figures but the Associated Press, quoting local officials in Ghazni Province in Afghanistan, has announced that nearly 100 corpses have been found at the crash site."

The AP has published reports on the disaster, but none of them have contained the 100-bodies figure. The AP told Business Insider it did not report this.

Neither officials in the US nor in Ghazni, the Taliban-held province where the crash took place, have given a death toll so far.

The Taliban claimed it shot down the plane, and said it contained high-ranking CIA officers. The US has disputed this claim, with defense officials warning on Monday that the "first report's always wrong."

US officials on Tuesday recovered the remains and are confirming the identities of people involved in the crash, Reuters reported. The officials did not give a number.

The plane, a US Air Force Bombardier E-11A, is widely believed to have been carrying no more than six people at the time of the crash. New York Times correspondent Mujib Mashal said on Tuesday that the most widely-cited figure is two.

Ghazni provincial police chief Khalid Wardak told Reuters on Tuesday "there are four bodies and two onboard were alive and they are missing," but said Taliban fighters repelled Afghanistan's attempt to access the crash site.

An image broadcast on Iran's state TV of actor Fredric Lehne, playing a character based on real CIA agent Michael D'Andrea, in the movie

Twitter/BBC Monitoring

Iran's state-run Channel One network also peddled a theory that a senior CIA official named Michael D'Andrea had been on the plane.

In reports broadcast by the channel, a photo of actor Fredric Lehne — who played a character inspired by D'Andrea in the 2012 movie "Zero Dark Thirty" — was shown instead of D'Andrea himself.

Channel One also claimed that D'Andrea — who leads the CIA's activities on Iran — played a key role in the US assassination of Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani, according to BBC Monitoring.

It's not clear if this is true, and the CIA declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

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