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Iran fires air defense batteries in provinces

Sounds of explosions heard near Isfahan

Conflicts 2024-04-19, 9:05am


Locator map of Iran. AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Apr 19 (AP/UNB) — Iran fired air defense batteries early Friday morning after reports of explosions near the city of Isfahan, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

It remained unclear if the country was under attack. However, tensions remain high in the wider Middle East after Iran’s unprecedented missile-and-drone attack on Israel.

IRNA said the defenses fired across several provinces. It did not elaborate on what caused the batteries to fire, though people across the area reported hearing the sounds.

The semiofficial Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported the sound of blasts, without giving a cause. State television acknowledged “loud noise" in the area.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Commercial flights began diverting their routes over western Iran without explanation early Friday as one semiofficial news agency in the Islamic Republic reported “explosions” heard over the city of Isfahan. State television acknowledged “loud noise.”

The incident comes as tensions remain high in the wider Middle East after Iran’s unprecedented missile-and-drone attack on Israel.

Dubai-based carriers Emirates and FlyDubai began diverting around western Iran about 4:30 a.m. local time. They offered no explanation, though local warnings to aviators suggested the airspace may have been closed.

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported on explosions being heard over Isfahan near its international airport. It offered no explanation. However, Isfahan is home to a major airbase for the Iranian military, as well as sites associated with its nuclear program.

Iranian state television began a scrolling, on-screen alert acknowledging a “loud noise” near Isfahan, without immediately elaborating.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.