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Taiwan condemns attack on fishing boat by Philippines

ROC Central News Agency

2013/05/10 00:25:11

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Taiwan condemned the shooting Thursday of a Taiwanese fishing boat by an official Philippine vessel, which caused the death of a fisherman.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement late Thursday to confirm the shooting came from an official Philippine ship, when the fishing boat was operating in overlapping waters of the two countries.

The attack also caused serious damage to the fishing boat, said the ministry, which demanded the Philippine government issue an apology, identify those responsible and make compensation for the losses.

There have been incidents in the past with Taiwanese fishermen operating in the area being arrested and detained by the Philippine authorities but there have been few reports of shooting, much less injuries and death.

Upon receiving a report from the Coast Guard Administration earlier in the day, the ministry said it immediately asked Taiwan's representative office in Manila to express concern over the incident and ask the Philippine authorities to probe the death of the Taiwanese man.

Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Raymond Wang also met with Rodolfo D. Isorena, head of the Philippines' coast guard agency, the ministry said.

The Philippines later found that one of its ships shot the Taiwanese fishing boat, the ministry said. The type of vessel deployed by the Philippines and the weapons used were not immediately known.

The circumstances under which the shooting took place and other details were also not available as of late Thursday.

Hung Shih-cheng, 65, was shot dead by the personnel on the Philippine vessel on Thursday morning, when the Taiwanese boat -- the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 -- was operating some 170 nautical miles off the southern coast of Taiwan, the ministry added.

Hung's son, son-in-law and an Indonesian fisherman were also on board when the shots were fired, according to the fishermen's association in Pingtung, southern Taiwan.

The ministry said in an earlier statement that Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) dispatched a vessel to rescue the Taiwanese fishing boat, which suffered an engine failure.

The boat in distress were under tow on its way back to Taiwan with the help of two other fishing boats and under the escort of the CGA vessel, the ministry said.

The ministry said it has also expressed concern over the shooting incident to the Philippines' deputy representative to Taiwan Carlo L. Aquino on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the ministry said it has conveyed its condolences to Hung's family and offered to provide any necessary assistance.

(By Elaine Hou)
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