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Ship Shot Up by U.S. Not Iran's, Officials Say

November 03, 1987|Associated Press

MANAMA, Bahrain — The vessel shot up Sunday in the Persian Gulf by the U.S. frigate Carr was not Iranian, as reported, but a private fishing boat out of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, officials and shipping sources said today.

They said one crewman, an Indian, was killed.

The sources said several other crewmen on the fishing boat suffered minor injuries. Hospital officials in Sharjah denied reports that any seamen were hospitalized or treated.

India's consul in Dubai, Aroun Kumar, said Sharjah police informed him today that "one Indian citizen was killed by gunshot wounds in the high seas."

Other sources quoted a surviving crewman as saying the Carr opened fire with machine guns although the fishing boat and two others with it were making way for the frigate and a tanker to pass.

Earlier today, Iranian officials denied that any Iranian vessels were involved in the encounter with the U.S. Navy.

The sources said the Americans fired on an "Indian launch" owned by the Sharjah government, killing one Indian crewman and wounding three others.

The Pentagon said Monday that the Carr fired .50-caliber machine guns at a "suspected Iranian vessel" that was racing toward a U.S. tanker, the MV Patriot, and ignored two preliminary bursts of warning fire.

The Pentagon said today that it is investigating the report that the vessel fired upon by the Carr was a private fishing vessel, but at this point had no information to sustain that claim.

In Kuwait today, a bomb exploded near the Interior Ministry, wrecking at least three cars and shattering car windows. No injuries were reported.

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