Iraqi planes and artillery bombarded the Iranian oil refinery city of Abadan Saturday in a counteroffensive against Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 'Operation Ramadan' invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi News Agency said.
The agency, quoting a Bagdhad military communique, earlier said Iraqi troops killed 27,255 Iranians in five battles around the Iraqi oil port city of Basra since July 14, forcing Khomeini's revolutionary guards to retreat across the Shatt al-Arab waterway at the border.
Tehran Radio made no reference to the Iraqi claims, but said Iraqi forces Saturday bombarded Abadan, just 30 miles from Basra, killing five people and wounding 15.
There was no confirmation from Iraqi sources and no independent assessment of the claims.
In neighboring Kuwait, the pro-western 43-nation Organization of Islamic Conference announced it would start a new Islamic goodwill mission within two weeks to negotiate a settlement in the 23-month-old Gulf war.
Habib al Chatti, secretary-general of the western-leaning Islamic conference, told the official Kuwaiti news agency Kuna that he had 'new ideas' to present to the two warring countries, but did not elaborate.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein also sent a message to Saudi Arabia's King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, but the Saudi press agency did not divulge its contents.
Tehran Radio reported fierce artillery exchanges along the western front, but said an Iraqi attempt to bomb the city of Ilam -- due east of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad -- was turned back early Saturday by anti-aircraft fire.
The Iraqi new agency INA, quoting a military spokesman, said the Iranians had lost four fighter planes, one helicopter, 297 tanks and 261 vehicles in the five 'Operation Ramadan' offensives on Basra since mid-July.
Iraq claimed Friday it completely 'crushed' the fifth Iranian offensive east of Basra, killing over 6,400 Iranians and capturing large numbers of soldiers and military equipment in good condition.
Tehran Radio Saturday reported various artillery battles in western Iran, with the greatest exchanges in the Meimak and Mehran regions where 'heavy damage' was reportedly inflicted on an Iraqi command post.