US Navy 'fired on fishing boat without warning'


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The Independent Online

An Indian fisherman aboard a boat shot at by the US Navy off Dubai's coast has told officials the crew received no warning before being fired upon, India's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates said yesterday.

The account differs from that provided by the Navy, which said it resorted to force on Monday only after issuing a series of warnings. One Indian was killed in the incident, and three of his countrymen were seriously wounded. The shooting happened when a boat approached the refuelling ship USNS Rappahannock about 10 miles off Dubai's Jebel Ali port. The Navy said the boat's crew disregarded warnings from the vessel, and only then did gunners fire on it.

The Indian Ambassador M K Lokesh told AP one of the survivors reported the men were returning from fishing. "He says there was no warning" before the shooting, Mr Lokesh said.

Dubai's police chief, Lt-Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said an initial investigation suggests "the boat was in its right course and did not pose any danger," according to comments in the Abu Dhabi-based The National. He said the shooting appeared to be a mistake.