US shares new images of Iranian activity after tanker attack

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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, which is says was taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter in the Gulf of Oman in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran on June 13, shows personnel that the Pentagon says are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy leaving after removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous, a Japanese owned commercial motor tanker. (Reuters)
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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, which the Pentagon says was taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter, shows what the Navy says are the remnants of the magnetic attachment device of an unexploded limpet mine on the side of the Japanese owned motor tanker Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, 2019. (Reuters)
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This image released on June 17, 2019 by the US Department of Defense in a press release is presented as a new evidence incriminating Iran in the June 13 tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. (AFP)
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Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker is anchored offshore of the port of Fujairah in a satellite overview image over the United Arab Emirates, June 17, 2019. (Reuters)
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This image released on June 17, 2019 by the US Department of Defense in a press release is presented as a new evidence incriminating Iran in the June 13 tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. (AFP)
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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17 shows what the Navy says is the hull penetration and blast damage on the starboard side of the Japanese owned motor tanker vessel Kokuka Courageous, which was sustained from a June 13 limpet mine attack while operating in the Gulf of Oman and photographed by the U.S. military the following day on June 14, 2019. Picture taken June 14, 2019. (Reuters)
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New images add to a video released last week showing Iranian involvment in the attacks on the ships. (US Navy)
Updated 18 June 2019
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US shares new images of Iranian activity after tanker attack

  • Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence, said the Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The United States military on Monday released new photos it says incriminate Iran in an attack last week on a tanker ship in strategic Gulf waters.
The US argument centers on an unexploded limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous ship it says was removed by Iranians on a patrol boat.
“Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” the Pentagon said in a statement accompanying the imagery.
The US released a grainy black and white video last week it said showed the Iranians removing the mine, but has not provided an explanation for why they allegedly did so while the US military was observing them.
One of the photos released Monday shows what the Pentagon described as “the remnants of the magnetic attachment device of (an) unexploded limpet mine,” while others picture the place where the mine was allegedly attached.
Additional images picture damage from what the US says was a limpet mine that did explode on the same ship, and others are said to show the Iranians removing the unexploded mine and the patrol boat they traveled on.


Sudan’s military council, opposition coalition agree political accord

Updated 49 min 41 sec ago
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Sudan’s military council, opposition coalition agree political accord

  • The constitutional declaration is expected to be signed on Friday
  • The deal aims to help the political transition in Sudan

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s ruling military council and an opposition alliance signed a political accord on Wednesday as part of a power-sharing deal aimed at leading the country to democracy following three decades of autocratic rule.

The agreement, which ended days of speculation about whether a deal announced earlier this month would hold, was initialed in Khartoum in the presence of African mediators following a night of talks to iron out some details of the agreement.

Sudan’s stability is crucial for the security of a volatile region stretching from the Horn of Africa to Libya that is riven by conflict and power struggles.

The deal is meant to pave the way to a political transition after military leaders ousted former President Omar Al-Bashir in April following weeks of protests against his rule.

At least 128 people were killed during a crackdown that began when security forces dispersed a protest camp outside the Defense Ministry in central Khartoum in June, according to medics linked to the opposition. The Health Ministry had put the death toll at 61.

A political standoff between Sudan’s military rulers and protesters threatened to drag the country of 40 million toward further violence before African mediators managed to bridge the gap between the two sides.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, hailed the agreement as the start of a new partnership between the armed forces, including the paramilitary forces he leads, and the opposition coalition of Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC).

Ibrahim Al-Amin, an FFC leader, said the accord signaled a new era of self-reliance for Sudan’s people.

“We want a stable homeland, because we have suffered a great deal,” Amin said in a speech after the ceremony.

Ethiopian mediator Mahmud Dirir said Sudan, long under international isolation over the policies of Bashir’s Islamist administration, needed to overcome poverty and called for the country to be taken of a US list of states that support terrorism.

The sides are still working on a constitutional declaration, which is expected to be signed on Friday.

Power-sharing deal

Under the power-sharing deal reached earlier this month, the two sides agreed to share power in a sovereign council during a transitional period of just over three years.

They also agreed to form an independent government of technocrats to run the country and to launch a transparent, independent investigation into the violence.

The power-sharing agreement reached earlier this month called for a sovereign council comprised of 11 members — five officers selected by the military council, five civilians chosen by the FFC and another civilian to be agreed upon by both sides.

The constitutional declaration will now decide the duties and responsibilities of the sovereign council.

The military was to head the council during the first 21 months of the transitional period while a civilian would head the council during the remaining 18 months.

But the agreement was thrown into doubt when new disputes surfaced last week over the military council’s demand for immunity for council members against prosecution.

The military council also demanded that the sovereign council would retain ultimate decision-making powers rather than the government.