Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm sure the dead man...

...will be glad to know America says he's not dead! Allah yarhumu!

From CNN:

U.S. ship fires warning shots at boat in Suez Canal

updated 2 hours, 18 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. military security team on a cargo ship transiting the Suez Canal Monday fired warning shots at a small Egyptian boat when it got too close, U.S. officials said.

A small boat comes close to a ship transiting the Suez Canal in this 2007 file photo.

Initial reports from the cargo ship indicate no Egyptians were hurt or killed, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The Associated Press, however, citing Egyptian sources, reported one person was killed.

The incident involved the M/V Global Patriot, a contractor cargo ship, which was operating on behalf of the Military Sealift Command. An armed military security team was on board for the canal transit.

Three small Egyptian boats approached the ship, a senior U.S. military official told CNN. The contractor ship made radio calls and fired flares to warn the small boats away, he said, and two of the three veered off.

The third boat, however, kept moving toward the contractor ship, the official said. The security team fired six warning shots with small caliber weapons, hitting the water in front of the small boat, he said, which then veered off.

The Global Patriot reported no injuries on any of the vessels involved, according to the embassy statement.

But an Egyptian security official told The AP that after the warning shots, further gunfire killed one man in the small boat and wounded three others.

Abbas al-Amrikani, the head of the Suez seaman's union, told AP the dead man was Mohammed Fouad, a 27-year-old father of three.

"We are praying over his the body right now," al-Amrikani told the AP by telephone. Prayers could be heard in the background as he spoke, AP reported.

"The bullet entered his heart and went out the other side," AP quoted al-Amrikani as saying.

The Egyptian security official, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, said merchants often use small boats to try to sell cigarettes and other items to ships transiting the Suez Canal.

The merchants know not approach military vessels, he told AP, but the fact that the Global Patriot was a civilian vessel may have led to confusion.

Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, stressed that U.S. troops are trained to fire warning shots if ships get too close, but they use the minimum amount of fire possible.

"It's worth emphasizing that we have our teams well-trained to exercise disciplined restraint to minimize impact, to take graduated steps to keep any incidents from happening," Robertson told CNN.

She said the Navy is cooperating with Egyptian authorities through the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.


The Sphinx said...

Doesn't this remind you of the Iraq war apologists?

"We invaded Iraq to liberate the Iraqis"
"We have brought freedom and democracy to the Iraqis"
"After we finish the job, Iraq will be a free and prosperous nation"

.. yeah, I'm sure the dead and maimed civilians in Iraq will all find that very comforting alright.

Queen O'Danile said...

Oh yes Sphinx! This is what we always say here...We liberated the Iragis alright. We liberated them from this life! What a shame and black mark on world history. Sometimes I still cant believe what the US has done in Iraq. I am so ashamed. BTW, see mt next post!