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On the Gulf war front ...

Iran warned foreign warships yesterday to keep away from naval maneuvers that its Revolutionary Guards are conducting in the Gulf or ``we will severely confront them.'' The Iranian news agency said tens of thousands of militiamen had been deployed along the southern coastline in preparation for the three-day exercises. Shipping sources reported no incidents involving commercial vessels. The sources said four or five ships passed through the Strait of Hormuz yesterday.

Iran said its jets bombed Iraqi troop positions in three raids over the central warfront Tuesday, inflicting ``substantial losses.'' Iraq made no mention of the raids. But Baghdad television said Iraq had successfully tested a new surface-to-air-missile with the range to hit Tehran from eastern Iraq (400 miles).

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