Thailand’s navy shoots at Vietnamese fishing boats

By Toan Dao   July 10, 2016 | 09:17 am PT
Two Vietnamese fishermen have been injured while another is missing.

Thailand’s naval forces at 2:00 p.m. on July 8 opened fire at three Vietnamese fishing boats with 18 fishermen on board, injuring two while one is missing, the Vietnamplus reported late Sunday, quoting Nguyen Hai Ngoc, first secretary of Vietnam’s Embassy in Bangkok.

Ngoc said shooting at foreign boats fishing illegally in one country’s waters is against international law and practice.

The two wounded fishermen are Nguyen Van Teo, 28, and Nguyen Van Linh, 25, all from Vietnam’s Ben Tre southern province. Teo was injured in the right leg while Linh was wounded in the shoulder. They, along with the remaining 15 fishermen, were carried to the shore by Thailand’s helicopter vessels and are currently detained in Naval Zone 2 of Thailand’s Royal Navy in Songkhla Province.

Thai naval vessels chased after three Vietnamese fishing boats found to be operating illegally in Thailand's waters on July 8. Two of them sunk in a collision with Thai vessels. A Vietnamese steersman, who has yet to be identified, was missing while the others were rescued and arrested by Thai naval forces. The remaining boat has already been seized by Thai authorities.

The fishermen are expected to be handed over to Thai police on Monday, July 11. They are likely to be charged of illegally penetrating Thailand’s waters and fishing without permission before a court.

A group of officials from Vietnam's Embassy in Bangkok have flown to Songkhla to deal with the incident.

Previously, a Thai speedboat chased and shot at various Vietnamese boats fishing illegally in Thailand's waters on September 11 last year. Ngo Van Sinh, the 38-year old captain of one of the boats, was shot in the head and died immediately. Two other fishermen were injured.

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