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The World

November 11, 1988

The U.S. Navy warship Dubuque has left the Persian Gulf without being replaced, but no reduction in U.S. forces is under way, a Pentagon spokesman said. The Dubuque was to have been replaced by the Raleigh, but that vessel was delayed en route for emergency repairs. Attention focused on the Dubuque in June after it was reported that the captain of the warship abandoned a disabled junk filled with starving Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea. Some of the refugees resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. The skipper of the Dubuque, Alexander G. Balian, who faces naval charges over the incident, maintained that he was speeding toward an urgent mission in the Persian Gulf and that the refugees were in relatively good shape when the Dubuque left them.

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