By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Iran's navy says nineteen sailors were killed and 15 others injured when an Iranian warship accidentally fired an anti-ship cruise missile at another Iranian naval vessel.
The Jamaran frigate reportedly fired on the Konarak, a support vessel during an exercise in the Gulf of Oman. Initial reports said the ship was sinking and that sailors, living and dead, had to be pulled from the water.
Footage seen by Worthy News showed smoke rising from the heavily damaged Iranian navy ship Konarak following what officials called a "friendly fire" incident.
Iran's navy explained in a statement that the ship was later towed ashore and that an investigation had begun into Sunday's mishap.
The deadly incident happened near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically crucial waterway through which about a fifth of the world's oil passes.
Commentators called it another damaging blow in a year of crises for the Islamic Republic. Earlier this year, a passenger plane of Ukraine International Airlines was accidentally shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran's main international airport. All 176 passengers and crew onboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft were killed. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attributed it to human error. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the accident as an "unforgivable mistake."
Iran also faces military tensions with the United States. Last month American President Donald Trump ordered the navy to "attack" Iranian ships that harass U.S. vessels. The orders came after 11 Iranian speedboats reportedly hounded U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in international waters.
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