Iran missile strikes own ship, kills 1 sailor, hurts others

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Iranian navy vessel sunk by friendly fire during training exercise in Gulf of Oman May 10. 

Iranian navy vessel sunk by friendly fire during training exercise in Gulf of Oman May 10.  (AP photo)

An Iranian navy sailor was killed and several injured in an unexplained “incident” on a military support ship in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian media reported Monday (May 11).

Iranian state television, as well as the semiofficial Fars and ISNA news agencies, said the incident happened Sunday aboard the Konarak, a Hendijan-class support ship. The incident occurred near the port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman.

Iranian media said the Konarak had been overhauled in 2018 and was able to launch sea missiles. The Dutch-made, 47-meter (155-foot) vessel was in service since 1988 and had capacity of 40 tons. It usually carries a crew of 20 sailors.

Iran regularly holds exercises in the region, which is closed to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world's oil passes. The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which monitors the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iranian media rarely report on incidents during its exercises. This incident also comes amid months of heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.