BAGHDAD ø Iraqi speedboats fliled with explosives blew up as an American boarding team approached them near Basra.
Three speedboats exploded outside the Basra
facility, killing two members of U.S.-led forces and forcing the closure of
Officials said the main oil terminal ø which processes most of Iraq's
export of 1.9 million barrels of oil per day ø was not damaged in
Saturday's attack. But they said a full damage assessment would require
The U.S. Fifth Fleet said in a statement that an eight-man coalition
interception team had approached an insurgency boat when it blew up. The
statement said two other small boats exploded 20 minutes later, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The coalition boarding team were killed and wounded as a result of
three concurrent waterborne attacks in the Arabian Gulf," the U.S. Fifth
Fleet said in a statement.
Earlier, Iran reported that Iraqi insurgents fired a rocket-propelled
grenade toward an
Iranian passenger ship in the Arvandkenar waterway. The ship was said to
have sustained heavy damage in the attack on April 19.
Arvandkenar governor Hassan Alidoost told the official Irna news agency
that the Iranian ship, called Negin, contained more than 100 passengers and
had been sailing from Kuwait to the Iranian city of Khorramshahr.
The governor said an Iraqi insurgent fired an RPG from the west bank of
Arvandkenar. The ship was then halted, the passengers were robbed and held
for ransom. He did not say whether the passengers were eventually released.
Iranian officials said the Iraqi attacks have threatened shipping and
could jeopardize security in the entire region. Officials said Iran has deployed
guards along the border to stop Iraqi attacks.