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5 injured in clash between China fishing boats, Kinmen coastguard

2011/01/14 13:04:40

Kinmen, Jan. 14 (CNA) Two Taiwan coastguard officers and threefishermen from Xiamen in China were injured in a clash Friday when acoastguard patrol tried to stop a Chinese fishing boat from poachingin Taiwan's territorial waters off the outlying islet of LittleKinmen.

The incident quickly escalated into a stand-off between threeTaiwan coastguard patrol vessels and 28 Chinese fishing boats.

It started when a fishing boat from China was spotted at about 1:30 a.m. Friday, fishing illegally in Taiwan's territorial waters offLittle Kinmen -- an islet west of the main island of Kinmen close toChina's southeastern coast.

A cutter from the Coast Guard Administration's (CGA's) Kinmenunit intercepted the fishing boat and two CGA officers went aboard inan attempt to inspect it, but they were attacked by the Xiamenfishermen with stones and bamboo poles.

The two officers sustained injuries to the head and ribs andthree Chinese fishermen were also hurt.

The Kinmen patrol cutter called for backup and two other CGAboats rushed to the scene. The Chinese fishermen were arrested andthe wounded were taken to hospital for treatment.

One of the three injured fishermen was rushed to the hospital onthe main island of Kinmen for treatment, while three others weretaken to the CGA Kinmen Office for questioning.

However, during the clash, the Xiamen fishing boat also radioedfor help and drew a response from 28 other Chinese fishing boats withmore than 80 people aboard.

The fishing vessels converged on Little Kinmen's Luotsuo fishingport, where they staged a stand-off with the coastguard patrol.

The Chinese men on the fishing vessels shouted at the coastguard,demanding the release of the Xiamen fishermen who had been arrested.

Su Sheng-chin, deputy chief of the CGA Kinmen unit, went to theport and succeeded in calming the Chinese fishermen after many hours.The 28 boats left Luotsuo fishing port at 7 a.m.

(By K.Y. Ni and Deborah Kuo)
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