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An Iranian missile fired during a training exercise struck a support ship in the Gulf of Oman on Sunday, killing 19 sailors and injuring 15 others, according to a report on Monday.
The missile struck Konarak, a Hendijan-class support ship, which Iranian media said was too close to a target during the exercise. The incident was called an accident.
The ship that fired the missile was a Moudge-class frigate called Jamaran. The missile reportedly struck the Konarak ship, Iran’s Tasnim news agency said.
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About a dozen sailors were wounded, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
The Konarak had been placing targets for other ships to fire upon. The Dutch-made 155-foot ship had been overhauled in 2018 and was able to launch sea missiles. It normally has a crew of about 20 sailors and had been in service since 1988 — with a capacity of 40 tons.
The incident occurred near the port of Jask, about 790 miles southeast of Tehran.
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Iran regularly holds exercises in the region, which is close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes through.
The vessel was towed into a nearby naval base after the strike. A photograph released by the Iranian army showed burn marks and some damage to the ship.
“The circumstances of the incident are currently undergoing technical examinations,” Iran’s Students News Agency ISNA said, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which monitors the region, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Iranian media rarely report on incidents during its exercises. This incident also comes amid months of heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.
It marks the second serious incident involving a misfired missile by Iran’s armed forces this year. In January, after attacking U.S. forces in Iraq with ballistic missiles, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 people on board.
The Associated Press contributed to this report