Iraqi warplanes bombed Tehran and five other Iranian cities yesterday, reportedly killing at least five persons, and Iran retaliated with a ground offensive.

Iran confirmed Iraq's announcement that it had bombed Tehran, saying five persons were killed and four others wounded. Iran said it was the first Iraqi raid on a "purely residential area" of the capital since the Persian Gulf war erupted in September 1980, United Press International reported, based on monitoring in Beirut.

The two countries differed on what other Iranian cities were bombed by Iraq and there were no other immediate casualty reports from the raids, which followed Iran's claim that it bombed the Iraqi capital of Baghdad Monday.

Reuter reported from Baghdad that Iraq claimed last night its forces had foiled an Iranian ground offensive on the Hawizah marshes on the border in southern Iraq Monday and were preparing a counterattack on the remainder of the invading troops. The statement said Iraqi forces had killed a "large number of Iranian troops" and destroyed four Iranian Chinook helicopters carrying soldiers.

Iran's official news agency said Iranian invasion forces had killed or wounded more than 500 Iraqi soldiers, destroyed 20 tanks and two helicopters and took more than 100 captives, including five senior Iraqi officers.