19 Iranian sailors killed in a naval incident
During a drill, one Iranian warship mistakenly hit another one with a missile, killing 19 sailors and injuring 15 others, Iran's navy stated.
The accident occurred during training in the Oman Gulf, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Hormuz Strait through which around a fifth of the world's oil flows. Iran does exercises in the field on a daily basis.
The Jamaran frigate fired to a training target released by the Konarak, a support ship. The support ship, however, remained too close to the target, and was struck.
The navy statement said inquiries were underway concerning the cause of the incident, said ISNA, a student news agency.
IRIB said the Dutch-made Konarak vessel, which had been purchased before the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, was overhauled in 2018 and is fitted with four cruise missiles.
The incident took place at a time of heightened tension between Iran and the United States after 2018, when the United States withdrew from a nuclear agreement between major powers and Iran, and Washington imposed sanctions on Tehran once more.
Animosity deepened in early January, when the top Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad.
Maritime Business World