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Several Iranian ships catch fire in southern port, say reports

Since late June, there have been several explosions and fires at Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities
Firefighters battle plumes of smoke coming from the ships after they caught fire (AFP)

At least seven ships caught fire in the port of Bushehr in southern Iran, according to local Tasnim news agency, in the latest series of similar incidents to rock the country. 

No casualties have been reported so far but this latest incident comes after several explosions and fires near military, nuclear and industrial facilities.

Images posted by the official IRNA news agency showed black smoke billowing into the air as firefighters attempted to tackle the fires. 

Iranian police investigate latest explosion at industrial complex
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Earlier this week, Iranian police said they had begun investigations into an explosion and fire at an industrial complex in the country's northeast. 

Local fire officials told the semi-official Mehr news agency on Monday that at least six storage tanks exploded and caught fire at a liquid gas plant in the Kavian Fariman industrial zone.

Javid Jahandoust, the fire chief at the industrial complex, said the fire at the plant was under control and reported no casualties. He added that local police were investigating the cause of the incident.

Iranian officials have referred to most of the explosions and fires cases as incidents or accidents, although reports have said that some of the incidents involved sabotage.

On Sunday, the official IRNA news agency reported a fire at a petrochemical facility in southwest Iran, which was blamed on an oil leak. There were no casualties reported.

Last week, an explosion in a factory near Tehran killed at least two people. The explosion came days after a fire broke out at the Natanz nuclear facility in Isfahan province.

A Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the Natanz incident told the New York Times that contrary to the Iranian government's initial statement that it was an accident, Israel was responsible for the "powerful bomb" attack in Natanz.

Israel has worked to disrupt Iran's nuclear programme in the past, including the Stuxnet cyber-attack in 2010, which targeted Iran's nuclear centrifuges and was blamed on Israel and the United States.