News In Brief

Iraq says it hit four vessels near Iran's Kharg Island

Iraqi warplanes hit a Greek-registered oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Sunday, breaking a two-week lull on such attacks and prompting fears of Iranian retaliation.

The attack followed by hours an emergency meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, of the top military officials of the six Arab nations on the western side of the Persian Gulf. They have been meeting to map out a strategy to protect shipping in the waterway.

An Iraqi military spokesman said on Baghdad radio that Iraqi aircraft hit four ''large naval targets'' early Sunday. The attack on the 150,000-ton Alexander the Great was the only one independently confirmed.

The Iraqi attack was intended to ''clamp a complete blockade around Kharg Island and the other Iranian ports which overlook the Arabian (or Persian) Gulf, '' said an unidentified military spokesman on Baghdad Radio.

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