December 23, 2016 / 8:33 AM / in 7 months

Iran shoots down a filming drone in Tehran over security concerns

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Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran, Iran February 10, 2012.Morteza Nikoubazl/Files

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's anti-aircraft forces shot down a drone in central Tehran on Friday as it approached the offices of the president and the supreme leader, but the unmanned aircraft later appeared to have been operated by a film crew shooting aerial footage for a documentary.

Residents in central Tehran heared loud gunfire and an explosion, they said on social media.

ILNA news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that the drone was shot down as "it approached the no-fly zone" near the office of the supreme leader.

The source later explained that the drone belonged to a documentary-making team that had permission to film but "unintentionally started moving it towards the no-fly zone."

Tehran's deputy governor general for security affairs, Mohsen Hamedani, was quoted by ISNA as saying that the state television crew were filming Friday prayers and "did not know about the prohibited airspace."

Pasteur Street in central Tehran is highly secured as key government institutions are located there.

The commander of Tehran air defence forces said in August that the capital's airspace was under full control and "no aircraft can enter it without permission."

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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