A Vietnamese fisherman was killed last week by an unidentified foreign ship while fishing near Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago.
Nguyen Dinh Bay, 42, of Binh Chau Commune in Quang Ngai Province had been among 15 people on board a fishing boat in Vietnamese waters, some 30 nautical miles off Suoi Ngoc (Alicia Annie) Reef, Nguyen Thanh Hung, chairman of the Binh Chau Fishing Association, said.
The incident happened on November 26 when a foreign ship approached and five armed men jumped on board Bay’s vessel and shot him before leaving.
The ship’s nationality and the reason for the attack are both unclear.
The area has for long been a traditional fishing ground for Vietnamese fishermen, who have never been attacked before, Hung said.
Others on board immediately called their families on shore who reported to the fishing association.
Nguyen Thanh Nam of the Binh Chau Fishing Association said he called the boat owner, Bui Van Cu, who is also on board, and was told the fishermen were frightened and were returning home.
Bay’s elder son, who is among the men on the boat, has been frequently fainting since the killing, Nam said.
Hung said the fishermen have four gun shells from the attackers’ guns.
Suoi Ngoc is some 29 nautical miles from Vanh Khan (Mischief) Reef, which is illegally occupied by China.
Speaking about another, unrelated case in which a fishing boat was threatened in the East Sea, the Foreign Ministry said it opposes the use of or threat to use force against boats and vessels.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh on November 27 stressed Vietnam’s consistent stance of resolutely protesting against all actions that use or threaten to use force against Vietnamese boats and vessels.
He was responding to media questions about reports that some Chinese coast guard and naval ships surrounded and threatened to use force against Hai Dang 05.
“These actions violate international law, run counter to the spirit and letter of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), seriously threaten peace and stability in the region, and are completely unacceptable and unjustifiable,” he said.