The limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz last week bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines displayed by Iran, a US Navy explosives expert said Wednesday, stopping short of directly blaming Tehran for the assault. The comments by Cmdr. Sean Kido came as the Navy on Wednesday showed reporters pieces of debris and a magnet they say Iran's Revolutionary Guard left behind when they spirited away an unexploded limpet mine after the June 13 attack in the Gulf of Oman, reports the AP. Iran has not acknowledged taking the mine and has denied being involved in the attack last Thursday that hit the Japanese tanker Kokuka Courageous and also the Norwegian-owned Front Altair.
Kido stressed that the damage done to the Kokuka Courageous was "not consistent with an external flying object hitting the ship," despite the ship's owner blaming "flying objects" for the damage in the attack. The US Navy presented debris, which they described as including aluminum and composite metals, recovered from the Kokuka Courageous. They also showed a magnet they described as being left behind by the Revolutionary Guard—one of six apparently used to stick the unexploded limpet mine to the ship's hull. Sailors said it took two of them and a crowbar to pry it off the ship. The Navy showed a picture of a 90-pound conical limpet mine on display in Iran and said it resembled the one they suspected was used on the ship.
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