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Sunday, November 29

TURKEY TO GIVE BODY OF SU-24 PILOT TO RUSSIA - Breaking News

Turkey Vows to Hand Over Body of Killed Su-24 Pilot to Russia - PM
11:46 local time - 29.11.2015 (updated 12:23)
SPUTNIK

According to Turkish media reports, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday that the body of a killed Russian Su-24 pilot had been brought to Turkey late Saturday and would later be handed over to Russia.

The pilot of the Su-24 bomber, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by ground fire while parachuting to safety after the warplane had been downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syria on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back, carried out against us by accomplices of terrorists."

"The body of the deceased Russian pilot was delivered to us last night at 1:45 across the border. In accordance with their [Russian] religious tradition, funeral arrangements were carried out by Orthodox priests in the Hatay Province [in Turkey's south]," Davutoglu was quoted as saying by local media Beyaz Gazete.

The Russian Embassy in Turkey has confirmed that the body of the Russian pilot would be brought to Ankara on Sunday and later sent to Russia.

"Today the body of Hero of Russia Oleg Peshkov will be delivered to Ankara. The military attache of the embassy is accompanying it during the flight, and the ambassador and the embassy staff will meet it at the airfield in Ankara. The date and time of the pilot’s body delivery to Russia is being clarified," embassy spokesman Igor Mityakov told RIA Novosti.

Syrian Turkmen rebels claimed earlier that they had fired at the crew of the Russian warplane as they were descending to the ground. [They] also claimed that both were killed, although this allegation was later disproved as one of them survived.

The Su-24 bomber co-pilot survived and was taken to a Russian base in Syria after a successful 12-hour search and rescue operation, which ended on Wednesday.

A source familiar with the operation told RIA Novosti earlier that several Syrian special forces units were providing cover for the Russian search and rescue team.

[END REPORT]

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