Iran missile 'accidentally' strikes own ship killing 19 sailors
An Iranian warship was struck by "friendly fire" in the Gulf of Oman leaving 19 sailors dead and 15 others wounded, Iran's Army said. The missile struck a Konarak light support vessel during a military exercise. The incident occurred on Sunday near the port of Jask, which lies 1,270 km southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman. Here are more details.
Accident occurred during naval exercise in Jask and Chabahar waters
Iran's Army said, "On Sunday afternoon, during an exercise by a number of the navy's vessels in Jask and Chabahar waters, the Konarak light support vessel had an accident." It added, "The number of this accident's martyrs is 19 and 15 have also been injured." According to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, over 20 people were killed and 40 had been aboard the Konarak vessel.
Konarak vessel strayed too close to missile targets
Citing sources in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Anadolu reported that the incident had been blamed on "human error." According to reports, the Konarak vessel had been putting out targets in the water for the training exercise in the Gulf of Oman. While doing so, the vessel strayed too close to a target and was hence struck by a missile.
Probe into accident underway
Iran's student News Agency ISNA stated, "The circumstances of the incident are currently undergoing technical examinations." Iran holds routine military exercises in the area, that is also monitored by the United States Navy. The accident comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US after the former withdrew from a nuclear deal. The move led to the US imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.