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Iran Says Iraqi Planes Raided Nuclear Plant for Second Time

November 20, 1987|Associated Press

MANAMA, Bahrain — Iran claimed that Iraqi warplanes raided an unfinished nuclear power plant Thursday for the second time this week, and Iraq said it bombed three tankers in Iran's gulf waters and shot down two enemy planes.

Iraq did not confirm the latest reported attack on the nuclear plant, near Iran's coastal city of Bushehr. The earlier attack on the plant came Tuesday.

Iran has said it moved "fissionable material" into the facility and claimed that a second attack might result in a nuclear disaster equal to the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the Soviet Union. Nuclear experts discounted the claims.

Iraq said its anti-aircraft gunners shot down two of Iran's U.S.-built F-5 jets two hours apart over northern Kurdistan province. Iran reported conducting raids in the province but said all aircraft returned safely.

British Detonate Mine

British navy units detonated one of two mines found in the Persian Gulf, where Iran and Iraq have been at war since September, 1980. The explosion prompted a flurry of rumors that a ship had blown up. Both mines were found off the coast of Qatar in the central waters of the 500-mile-long waterway.

In the Kurdistan city of Dihok, near the Turkish border, thousands of Iraqis shouting calls for revenge marched in a funeral procession for 10 civilians killed Wednesday in an Iranian air raid on a hospital.

Iran denied bombing the hospital. On Thursday, Tehran reported that its jets made three attacks Thursday on military targets, causing "substantial" losses.

Tehran radio said Iraqi planes attacked the Bushehr nuclear site at mid-morning Thursday. It said no casualties were reported but gave no details.

Official Iraqi media did not mention a raid on the unfinished facility, which its aircraft have attacked several times during the war.

After Tuesday's attack, Iran reported 11 people killed, including a top Iranian nuclear expert and a West German engineer.

No Fissionable Material

Spokesmen for the International Atomic Energy Agency and U.S. nuclear experts said no reactors are working at the plant and that there was no evidence supporting Iran's claim that fissionable material is stored there.

Baghdad radio said Iraqi warplanes scored hits Thursday on three more "large naval targets," meaning tankers, in Iranian waters. Another was reported Wednesday night.

The reports raised to 19 the number of tanker attacks claimed by Iraq in 11 days. Only four have been confirmed independently,

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