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US navy ship, merchant vessel collide off Iraq

Written by: Staff
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MANAMA, Mar 26 (Reuters) A United States Navy destroyer collided with a merchant vessel off Iraq's coast in the Gulf, injuring four people, the Navy Fifth Fleet today said.

It said two US soldiers and two crew members from the merchant vessel were injured when the McCampbell and the Kiribati-flagged Rokya 1 collided late yesterday about 30 nautical miles southeast of the Iraqi coastline.

''The cause of the accident is under investigation,'' it said in a statement, adding that both ships had sustained damage to their bows but were seaworthy.

McCampbell is conducting maritime security operations under the Combined Task Force 58, which is responsible for the security of Iraqi oil terminals, the Navy said.

Pro-Western Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet.

REUTERS DKS BS1617

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