Vietnam has protested the shooting death of a fisherman by unidentified attackers off Truong Sa (Spartly) Island and ordered an investigation.
“We condemn and strongly object to the inhuman treatment of, use of or threat to use force against its fishermen,” foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said, referring to the killing on November 26.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is liaising closely with relevant agencies and has ordered Vietnamese representative agencies in East Sea littoral countries to expeditiously get any possible information about the incident.
So far no one has admitted to responsibility for the attack.
Deputy Minister of Defense Vo Trong Viet has instructed the border guard agency to investigate the case.
The Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department and Vietnam Fisheries Association have also strongly protested the attack.
The body of the dead fisherman, Truong Dinh Bay, 45, was brought to Quang Ngai Province Tuesday morning wrapped in canvas with ice intended for his catch.
The fishermen handed over four shells from the attackers’ gun.
A source told Thanh Nien that they are possibly from an AR15 rifle.
Bay suffered two shots in his chest and stomach.
According to Bui Van Cu, the fishing boat captain, they were attacked at around 6:15 am while docked near Suoi Ngoc (Alicia Annie) Reef in the Spratlys.
Cu and Bay had been the only people on board since the other 12 fishermen had gone fishing in smaller boats.
Two speedboats approached them and three men with a rifle jumped into their boat as they attempted to sail away.
Police investigating the fishing boat that was attacked on November 26. Photo: Hien Cu
Seeing one man shooting at Bay, Cu rushed in and managed to grab his gun and throw it into the water. The men jumped off quickly.
Cu called shore and left for home quickly.
Police and border guards began a probe as soon as the boat arrived in Quang Ngai.
Vo Van Trac, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Fisheries Association, said shooting at fishermen is inhumane and unacceptable under any circumstances.
“Relevant agencies, especially the coast guard and Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department, need to take more determined action to protect fishermen.”