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Russia denies 'friendly fire' sunk Kursk
MOSCOW (CNN) -- The head of a Russian government committee investigating the sinking of the Kursk submarine has denied a German newspaper report alleging "friendly fire" caused the disaster.
Russian Vice-Premier Ilya Khlebanov said no firing was taking place when the submarine went down on August 18 with the loss of 118 lives.
"The ships that were in the war zone were supposed to keep an eye on the torpedo attack that was carried out by the Kursk. There was no firing," said the minister.
"In addition, any firing that was carried out (during the war games) was done without any live fire ammunition."
The article in the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung maintained that the Kursk was sunk by an anti-submarine missile fired from the Russian cruiser Peter the Great.
It reported that the missile was equipped with a new target-seeking warhead but did not explain why the missile struck the Kursk.
Khlebanov said there were now three possible reasons for the accident: "Collision with an object, a mine from the time of the Second World War, or an emergency in the first (torpedo) section of the Kursk.
"All these versions are equally (likely)," he added.
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