The Latest: US Navy: Tanker attack mine similar to Iranian

AP

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  • U.S. Navy patrol boats carrying journalists to see damaged oil tankers leaves a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet base near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines displayed by Iran, a U.S. Navy explosives expert said Wednesday. Iran has denied being involved. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

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    Cmdr. Sean Kido of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet speaks to journalists at a 5th Fleet Base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Kido said Wednesday that the limpet mine used on a Japanese-owned oil tanker last week "bears a striking resemblance" to similar Iranian mines. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 2

    A magnet is shown as the U.S. Navy says came from a limpet mine that didn't explode on a Japanese-owned oil tanker at a 5th Fleet base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 3

    A U.S. Navy patrol boat carrying journalists to see damaged oil tankers leaves a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet base near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines displayed by Iran, a U.S. Navy explosives expert said Wednesday. Iran has denied being involved. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 4

    Journalists take pictures of a magnet the U.S. Navy says came from a limpet mine that didn't explode on a Japanese-owned oil tanker at a 5th Fleet base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 5

    A member of the U.S. investigative team shows a magnet the U.S. Navy says came from a limpet mine that didn't explode on a Japanese-owned oil tanker at a 5th Fleet base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • U.S. Navy patrol boats carrying journalists to see damaged oil tankers leaves a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet base near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines displayed by Iran, a U.S. Navy explosives expert said Wednesday. Iran has denied being involved. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 1

    Cmdr. Sean Kido of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet speaks to journalists at a 5th Fleet Base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Kido said Wednesday that the limpet mine used on a Japanese-owned oil tanker last week "bears a striking resemblance" to similar Iranian mines. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 2

    A magnet is shown as the U.S. Navy says came from a limpet mine that didn't explode on a Japanese-owned oil tanker at a 5th Fleet base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 3

    A U.S. Navy patrol boat carrying journalists to see damaged oil tankers leaves a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet base near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines displayed by Iran, a U.S. Navy explosives expert said Wednesday. Iran has denied being involved. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 4

    Journalists take pictures of a magnet the U.S. Navy says came from a limpet mine that didn't explode on a Japanese-owned oil tanker at a 5th Fleet base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • 5

    A member of the U.S. investigative team shows a magnet the U.S. Navy says came from a limpet mine that didn't explode on a Japanese-owned oil tanker at a 5th Fleet base, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region amid rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

A U.S. Navy explosives expert says the limpet mine used on a Japanese-owned oil tanker last week "bears a striking resemblance" to similar Iranian mines. Iran has denied being involved in the attack.

Cmdr. Sean Kido of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet also said on Wednesday that damage done to tanker Kokuka Courageous was "not consistent with an external flying object hitting the ship."

That contradicts the ship's owner, which said eyewitnesses aboard saw "flying objects" before the June 13 attack in the Gulf of Oman.

Kido added that Navy investigators have recovered fingerprints and a hand print from the side of the ship after the attack.

Kido made the comment to journalists gathered at the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet base near Fujairah, the United Arab Emirates. Reporters also saw what officials described as evidence recovered from the ship.

___

12:30 p.m.

Israel is holding its largest military drill in years, with thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force simulating a future war with Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

The military says it's wrapping up the four-day exercise on Wednesday. The drill focused on the immersion off all military branches against threats on Israel from the north. It includes the first deployment of F-35 stealth fighter jet planes in such a drill.

The exercise was planned long in advance but comes amid growing tensions in the Persian Gulf between Iran and the United States.

Israeli officials fear Iran may try to mobilize proxies like Hezbollah against it, as part of the conflict.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the drill and warned Israel's enemies: "Don't test us."

___

12:20 p.m.

Kuwait's emir has arrived in Iraq for a rare official visit to the neighboring country amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf between Washington and Tehran.

Iraq's President Barham Saleh received Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah at Baghdad's airport on Wednesday.

Kuwait news agency KUNA said the visit, the first since 2012, will focus on regional developments in the wake of attacks on oil tankers last week near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Washington, which has accused Iran of carrying out the attacks on the oil tankers, has dispatched warships and bombers to the region and is sending 1,000 more troops to the Mideast. Iran denies it is behind the attacks.

___

10:05 a.m.

Iraqi officials say a rocket hit an oil-drilling site in southern Basra province, striking a camp housing energy giant Exxon Mobil and wounding three local workers, one seriously.

Security official Mahdi Raykan says a Katyusha rocket landed early Wednesday in the Zubair and Rumeila oil fields camp, operated by the Iraqi Drilling company, where Exxon Mobil has workers' caravans.

Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. In May, it evacuated staff from the West Qurna 1 oil field in Basra province.

As tensions escalate between Iran and the U.S., there're concerns Iraq could once again get caught in the middle. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those U.S. forces to leave.

    

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