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Fishing boat interrupts drill off Penghu

2012/09/21 18:03:45

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) A fishing boat briefly interrupted Friday a drill held by the Penghu Defense Command off the outlying island of Penghu.

The drill was held in waters near the city of Magong at 5:45 a.m. to emulate a scenario of enemy ships trying to cut sea lane supplies and launch an all-out attack. It was designed to test the joint combat mechanism of the armed forces.

In the middle of the drill, however, a fishing boat sailed into the drill zone, which interrupted the firing of 120 mm mortars. The incident was immediately dealt with and the drill continued until its completion just before 7 a.m.

Cheng Kung class frigates, F-16 fighters, AH-IW helicopters, 120 mm mortars, 155 mm howitzers and M60A3 tanks took part in the drill.

Yang An, head of the political affairs department under the Penghu Defense Command, said the military had informed fishermen prior to the drill, but added that the vessel had obviously ignored the warning.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense announced that the accuracy rate of a just-concluded live-fire missile test was 84.6 percent.

The MND said in a news release that out of 25 land-to-air chaparral missiles fired, 22 hit their targets, while 22 out of 27 stinger missiles made successful hits.

The ministry said the results were better than those of a drill in the first half of the year.

But it also said performance was affected by low clouds and unstable weather during the Sept. 12-20 period at the Jiupeng base in Pingtung, southern Taiwan.

The drill integrated the Army Artillery Training Command and the short-range anti-air attack force to defend Taiwan proper, as well as Penghu.

The ministry said it will continue to strengthen its training to upgrade the country's short-term anti-air attack combat capability.

(By Chen Pei-huan and Lilian Wu)
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