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Iraq defuses mine attached to Iraqi oil tanker

A mine that was attached to the hull of an Iraqi oil tanker was defused two days after it was discovered, Iraq's military said in a statement on Saturday, quoted by Reuters.

The tanker was in international waters about 28 nautical miles (52 km) off Iraq's coast in the Gulf and supplying another ship with fuel when the device was discovered on Thursday afternoon.

An investigation has been opened to find out the circumstances of the incident.

The military said on Friday that it was not immediately clear how the mine was attached to the tanker, which was being rented by an unidentified client from Iraq's State Organisation for Marketing of Oil (SOMO).

The statement elaborated: "An explosives-handling team was formed by the Ministry of the Interior, transported by air to Al-Faw Port, and then in coordination with the Iraqi naval force, the team members went on board."

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence's statement on Friday pointed out that the special unit evacuated the ship that had been refuelled, and began working to defuse the mine in the affected ship, while evacuating its crew.

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