March 25, 2008

"Global Patriot" Kills Egyptian

US Navy confirms Suez Canal shooting
US: Navy-Contracted Ship Fires Warning Shots at Boats in Suez Canal; Egyptians Say 1 Dead

Mar 25, 2008 11:55 EST
An American cargo ship under contract to the U.S. Navy fired warning shots at a small Egyptian boat while passing through the Suez Canal, the U.S. military said Tuesday. Egyptian authorities said at least one man was killed, but the U.S. said an investigation was under way and it had no reports of casualties.
[...] A U.S. Navy security team aboard the Global Patriot fired the warning shots, said Lt. Nathan Christensen, deputy spokesman for the U.S. 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain.
"The boats were hailed and warned by a native Arabic speaker using a bullhorn to warn them to turn away. A warning flare was then fired," said a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. "One small boat continued to approach the ship and received two sets of warning shots 20-30 yards in front of the bow."
The statement added that "all shots were accounted for as they entered the water." It also said that "initial reports indicate that no casualties were sustained on either vessel."
[...] An Egyptian security official at the canal, however, said that after the warning shots, a man was shot dead in the small boat and that the three other men with him were wounded.
The body of the man, Mohammed Fouad, was taken to a hospital morgue, then transferred to the Ibrahim Nafie mosque ahead of burial, the head of the union of seamen in Suez, Abbas al-Amrikani, told The Associated Press.
We are praying over his the body right now," al-Amrikani said by phone over audible sounds of prayer. "I saw the body. The bullet entered his heart and went out the other side." He added that Fouad was 27 years old.
The Egyptian government had no immediate comment. The state news agency MENA reported an Egyptian was killed "when an American ship opened fire."
Associated Press Writer Maggie Michael in Cairo and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

No comments: