Local student among those killed in Iran plane crash

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SAN DIEGO -- A student at a San Diego university was among those killed in the Ukrainian airliner crash over Iran this week.

Sara Saadat was a psychology student at Alliant International University in Scripps Ranch, the school said. She was returning from a visit with family in Iran when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed near the Iranian capital Tehran.

Iran said its military "unintentionally" shot down the jetliner, killing all 176 people aboard.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to family and friends of Alliant Student Sara Saadat," the school said in a statement. "We know that the entire Alliant community is affected when tragedy strikes any one of us, and we are here to provide support during these trying times."

Alliant is a for-profit college with several campuses in California and several international locations. The school said it will have support counselors at its Scripps Ranch campus when spring classes resume next week.

The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched missiles at Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops. That attack was viewed as retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week.

Intelligence officials said they had no certain knowledge of Iranian intent, but that it could very well have been a mistake, and that the airliner was misidentified as a threat.

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