14 Apr 2024

As it happened: Iran launches drone, missile attack on Israel

6:25 pm on 14 April 2024
This video grab from AFPTV taken on April 14, 2024 shows explosions lighting up Jerusalem sky during Iranian attack on Israel. Iran's Revolutionary Guards confirmed early April 14, 2024 that a drone and missile attack was under way against Israel in retaliation for a deadly April 1 drone strike on its Damascus consulate. (Photo by AFPTV / AFP)

Photo: AFP

Iran launched explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel late on Saturday local time in its first direct attack on Israeli territory, a retaliatory strike that raised the threat of a wider regional conflict, as the US pledged "ironclad" backing for Israel.

Sirens wailed and Reuters journalists in Israel heard distant heavy thuds and bangs from what local media called aerial interceptions of explosive drones. Authorities said a 7-year-old girl was critically injured.

US President Joe Biden, who spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said he would convene a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven major economies on Sunday local time to coordinate a diplomatic response to what he called Iran's brazen attack.

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon told RNZ that tensions needed to ease.

"We urge all sides to de-escalate, to show restraint, and ultimately, to make sure we don't have wider conflict within the region. It's very important. It's the last thing that region needs right now."

As Israel's request, the UN Security Council will have an emergency meeting in New York at 8am NZ time on Monday.

Look back at how it unfolded:

- Reuters / RNZ

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