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Iran: Friendly Fire From Own Ship Kills 19 on Another

Konarak support ship reportedly didn't move far enough away from target it placed in Gulf of Oman
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2020 6:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – A logistical support vessel for the Iranian navy was struck over the weekend by "friendly fire," resulting in the deaths of 19 sailors and the injuries of at least 15 others. The incident happened Sunday evening in the Gulf of Oman, "causing the martyrdom of a number of brave members of the naval forces," the navy said in a Monday statement cited by the BBC. Per Iranian media, the 155-foot Konarak was placing targets for other ships in the waters near the Strait of Hormuz and didn't get far enough away from one when it was hit by a C-802 Noor anti-ship cruise missile fired by the frigate Jamaran. Per the Guardian, the navy's statement upped the original reported number of fatalities, which had originally been noted by Iranian state media as being "at least one sailor" dying.

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The paper added that the media in Iran doesn't typically comment on training exercise accidents, indicating how serious this particular one must've been. The Drive has pictures of the damaged Konarak, which saw its "entire upper structure obliterated." A video put out by Iranian state media also allegedly shows the Konarak after the hit, black smoke billowing from its destroyed body. The BBC notes that "the Iranian armed forces are no strangers to error," recalling how an Iranian air defense unit shot down a Ukrainian airliner in January with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 on board. (Read more Iran stories.)

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