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Indian fisherman killing: UAE counters US claims

Jul 19, 2012 at 11:34am IST

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New Delhi: The Dubai Police has countered the claims of the US in the Indian fisherman killing case. The Dubai Police has told CNN-IBN that an initial investigation suggests that the Indian boat was on its course and did not pose any danger to the US Navy ship.

But the US Navy had justified the use of lethal force saying the small boat had not heeded warnings and had instead charged towards the US navy ship.

The fishermen, however, claimed that they were not given any warning.

Indian fisherman killing: UAE counters US claims

The Dubai Police says that the Indian boat was on its course and did not pose any danger to the US Navy ship.

The fishermen, hospitalised with gunshot wounds after the incident near Dubai's Jebel Ali port, said on Tuesday that they received no warning before the US craft opened fire, and that their craft had attempted to avoid any contact with it.

On Monday the US Navy vessel, USNS Rappahannock, opened machine-gun fire on a fishing vessel 48 km off the Jebel Ali port, south west of Dubai.

Six of the eight crew members were Indians. One was killed and three others were injured. All of them are from Ramnathpuram district in Tamil Nadu. The post mortem on the dead fisherman was conducted on Thursday. It's report is awaited.

The diplomatic storm soon hit Delhi and Washington. External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said, "Necessary action will be taken. I have been told by my ambassador in UAE that a case has been filed against the incident by the concerned authorities and the case will proceed as per the law of that country."

US Ambassador Nancy Powell spoke to Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai conveying her deepest regrets. An embassy statement said, "The Embassy of the US would like to convey its condolences to the families of the crew of a small motor vessel, which came under fire from the USNS Rappahannock on July 16."

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