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China condemns 'barbaric' shooting of Taiwan fisherman

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-09 22:57

BEIJING/TAIPEI - The spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office on Thursday strongly condemned the reported fatal shooting of a Taiwan fisherman by the Filipino military.

China demands the Philippines investigate the incident thoroughly and swiftly, Yang Yi said, labeling the shooting "barbaric".

"We are in deep mourning over the fisherman's death and express condolence over the shooting," Yang said.

According to the island's fishing authority and media reports, a Taiwan fisherman was shot dead on Thursday morning when a Filipino military ship opened fire on a Taiwan fishing boat.

The shooting occurred around 10 am in a sea area some 180 nautical miles southeast of Erluanbi, the southernmost tip of the island of Taiwan, said Tsay Tzu-yaw, deputy head of Taiwan's fishery administration, earlier.

According to media reports, after killing the fisherman, the Filipino military ship continued to chase and fire in bursts at the Taiwan vessel.

It escaped danger only after fleeing for more than an hour, with equipment onboard severely damaged, according to reports carried by Taiwan media outlets.Tsay said the Taiwan boat lost its power shortly after that point.

Following the crew radioing for help, he added, certain boats came to assist the fishing vessel, which is expected to return to Taiwan on Friday. The island's marine patrol authority will also send vessels to help, according to Tsay.

It is unknown why the Filipino military ship opened fire, he said.

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