Iran military plane crashes near dormant volcano

An Iranian military fighter jet crashed on Wednesday, December 25, near a dormant volcano in the northwest of the country, official media reported.

State news agency IRNA said the jet went down at 9:00 am (0530 GMT) near Mount Sabalan, in the Lesser Caucasus range, and was a MiG-29 on a test flight after being overhauled.

Amateur video footage published on the social media accounts of various media outlets in Iran appeared to show smoke rising above snow-capped peaks.

A search and rescue operation was launched for the plane and its crew.

"Following the crash of a military plane in Ardabil (province), helicopter and rescue groups have been sent to the region," Iran's Red Crescent said in a statement on its website.

Iran's third-highest peak, Mount Sabalan, features a crater that turns into a lake at certain times of the year.