NICOSIA, Cyprus — An Iranian C-130 military plane crashed in the mountains of southeastern Iran near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing all 98 people aboard, Iran's official news agency reported today.
The agency, monitored in Nicosia, said the plane was preparing to land at the Zahedan airport Sunday evening when it slammed into mountains six miles east of the city.
The agency said the plane crashed just before landing "because of technical failure." It did not specify the problem.
The C-130 was carrying 91 soldiers from the 88th Armored Division and seven crew members, the news agency said.
The troops were being transported from the western Iranian battlefront at Bakhtaran to Zahedan, reported the news agency, which did not state the purpose of the transfer.
Iran and Iraq have been at war for six years. But the crash in the country's extreme east did not appear directly related to the fighting.
A number of the dead had been pulled from the wreckage by this morning, according to the agency.