New Delhi: Iran’s judiciary on Tuesday announced that persons who were involved in the shooting down of Ukrainian civilian plane that killed 176 onboard last week have been arrested. Also Read - Mossad Killed Iranian Nuclear Scientist Using A One-Ton Automated Gun: Report | Video

The announcement comes amid growing outrage and protests by Iranians over Tehran’s attempt to cover up the cause of the crash that took place on the same day when Iran-conducted airstrikes hit US bases in Iraq. Also Read - I Don't Trust Them: Iran's Supreme Leader Orders Ban on Coronavirus Vaccines from US, Britain

While the officials initially dismissed the allegations of downing the plane, blaming it on engine failure, Iran on Saturday acknowledged, in the face of mounting evidence, that its Revolutionary Guard “accidentally” shot down the aircraft as they mistook it for a US cruise missile. Also Read - Iranian Instagram Sensation ‘Zombie Angelina Jolie’ Freed From Prison on Bail Days After 10 Year Sentence

“So far, comprehensive investigations have been carried out from the relevant people, and every day until late night, the expert teams of the Judiciary are busy interrogating, investigating and collecting documents,” Iran’s judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmailias was quoted by IANS as saying to the media.

The spokesperson also said that the black box of the plane, that was recovered last week, has been sent to France to be decoded and Iranian and Ukrainian experts will also participate in reading the data.

He noted that “the Judiciary is after unearthing the fact and practising justice”.

On January 8, the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS75 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran, killing all the 176 people on board. The passengers included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians.