Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin on Tuesday claimed that one of the country’s planes that arrived in Afghanistan for evacuation purposes was hijacked and diverted to Iran, Russian news agency Tass reported.
However, Yenin’s claim was later denied by the Ukrainian government itself, according to The Guardian.
“Last Sunday, our plane was hijacked by other people,” Yenin said on Tuesday. “On Tuesday, the plane was practically stolen from us, it flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers onboard instead of airlifting Ukrainians.”
Yenin added that three more evacuation attempts failed “because our people could not get into the airport.”.
However, Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson denied any such incident. Instead, the spokesperson said that Yenin was speaking about difficulties that Ukrainian pilots were facing during the evacuation of people from Kabul.
Iran’s civil aviation authority also denied the hijacking claim, according to The Jerusalem Post. They stated that the plane was refueled in the Iranian city of Mashhad, after which it flew to Ukraine’s capital Kiev.
The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15 after a rapid offensive against government forces. Several countries have been rushing to evacuate their citizens from the conflict-torn country in the past few days.