MANAMA, BAHRAIN, JAN. 23 -- Iranian speedboats raided a Danish ship in the southern Persian Gulf, and Iraqi warplanes attacked a supertanker off the Iranian coast today, gulf-based shipping sources said.
In Iraq's mountainous Kurdistan region, searchers found a helicopter and recovered the bodies of Brig. Gen. Abdulaziz Ibrahim Hadithi, commander of Iraq's 5th Army Corps, and several other officers who were aboard, the official Iraqi News Agency said.
Tehran radio, monitored in Cyprus, said the helicopter was shot down by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. An Iraqi military spokesman called the claim "a cheap lie," and the Iraqi News Agency blamed the crash on bad weather.
Iranian speedboats attacked an empty Danish-flag ship bound for Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, said shipping executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The 33,650-ton Torm Rotna was hit five or six times above the waterline, apparently by rocket-propelled grenades or deck guns, they said. It sailed to Abu Dhabi for a damage survey. No injuries were reported.
It was the third reported attack by Iran's gunboats in the southern gulf in 18 hours.
The Iraqi News Agency said Iraqi warplanes struck a supertanker early today. The attack was confirmed by gulf-based shipping sources, who identified the target as a ship named Shirko.
The ship does not appear in Lloyd's Register of Ships, but it apparently was one of several tankers chartered by Iran to shuttle oil down the coast. It was the second such raid claimed by Iraq in less than 24 hours.
U.S. officials said today that a Navy guided missile frigate, the McClusky, arrived in Kuwait after having escorted a U.S.-flagged Kuwaiti gas tanker. The McClusky and the 46,723-ton Gas Prince had taken two days to sail up the gulf.
A spokesman for the U.S. Central Command said officials have ended the practice of announcing the start of the gulf convoys but will continue to report their termination.