IRAQ AGREES TO PAY US FAMILIES FOR USS STARK CASUALTIES

The United States and Iraq reached a tentative agreement calling for Iraq to pay $27.3 million to the families of 37 American sailors killed in the 1987 missile attack on the USS Stark, US officials said Tuesday. The United States had submitted a $29.6 million claim a year ago for the 37 crew members who died on the guided missile frigate when an Iraqi jet fighter fired two missiles at the ship on May 17, 1987. Iraq said the Persian Gulf attack was an accident, and the United States accepted the explanation.

The US officials said that Iraq had not discussed two other claims stemming from the Stark attack - a request for $82.9 million to cover the cost of repairing the ship, and a request for compensation for sailors who were injured.

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