Thai navy searches for missing Vietnamese fisherman after firing on boats

By Viet Anh   July 11, 2016 | 04:00 am PT
Thai navy searches for missing Vietnamese fisherman after firing on boats
Vietnam Embassy in Thailand has yet to receive any response on the firing from Thai authorities. Photo by VnExpress/Tri Tin
Vietnam has yet to receive any official response from Thai authorities about the incident on July 11.

Thailand's naval forces, after opening fire on three Vietnam’s fishing boats on July 8, have sent ships and planes to search for a Vietnamese fisherman who went missing after the attack, according to Vietnam Ambassador to Thailand Nguyen Tat Thanh.

Talking to VnExpress on July 11, Thanh said he has met with the Vietnamese fishermen who were arrested and brought ashore by Thai authorities last week. Among them, two were injured but they are up and about again, Thanh added.

“Vietnamese officials are working with Thai authorities. The Embassy has not received any official response thus far, and we have requested talks on the issue as soon as possible,” Thanh said.

At around 2:00 p.m. on July 8, Thai naval forces opened fire on three Vietnamese fishing boats from Ben Tre Province with 18 crew members on board, injuring two fishermen and leaving another missing. Two of the boats sank after colliding with Thai naval vessels.

Thai authorities accused the Vietnamese fishermen of illegally intruding their waters and fishing without permission in the area. Bangkok has scheduled a court hearing for the Vietnamese fishermen today.

The two injured fishermen have been identified as Nguyen Van Queo (29) and Nguyen Van Linh (25). Queo was shot in the right leg while Linh was wounded in the shoulder. The fishermen are currently being held at Naval Zone 2 of Thailand’s Royal Navy in the southern province of Songkhla.

First Secretary Nguyen Hai Ngoc from the Vietnam Embassy in Thailand, who is responsible for the protection of Vietnamese citizens, said that firing on foreign fishing vessels over territorial disputes is against the law and international practices.

This is the second time Thai warships have opened fire on Vietnamese fishing vessels and injured fishermen. In September last year, Thai warships opened fire on a Vietnamese fishing boat, killing one crew member.

Related news:

> Indonesia defends opening fire on Chinese boat

> Chinese vessels sink Vietnamese fishing boat near Paracel Islands

> Thailand’s navy shoots at Vietnamese fishing boats

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