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Fishing Official Says Argentine Naval Vessel Fired On Taiwan Fishing Boat

May 28, 1986 GMT

PORT STANLEY, Falkland Island (AP) _ An Argentine naval ship today fired on a Taiwan fishing vessel just outside the 150-mile exclusion zone imposed by Britain around the Falkland Islands, a Taiwan fishing official said.

The crew of the Chii-Fu 6 escaped injury by hiding in the engine room, said Tsu-Kang Lei, who represents Taiwan squid fishermen on the Falklands. He said crew members told him by telephone that the shots, possibly fired by machine guns, wrecked the mast and the radio room.

The Argentine ship, identified as Foree 28, allegedly chased the Chii-Fu 6 for more than two hours before firing at the vessel at about 7:30 a.m. The attack occurred about 10 miles outside the exclusion zone northwest of the Falklands, Lei said.

The Argentine vessel later was reported to be chasing another fishing vessel, the Chian Tah, Lei said.

The British Defense Ministry said it had heard reports of harassment of Taiwan fishing vessels and had sent an aircraft to investigate.

The alleged attack is the latest and by far the most serious in a series of reported harassments of fishing trawlers by Argentine naval vessels. Argentine ships have boarded fishing trawlers from several countries fishing in the waters between the Falklands Islands and Argentina.

The exclusion zone was established by Britain after the war with Argentina over the Falklands Islands, which are populated by some 1,800 people, most of them of British descent.

Claiming sovereignty, Argentina invaded the islands on April 2, 1982. A British task force ejected the Argentine troops 74 days later. The war claimed the lives of 712 Argentines and 255 Britons.