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Vietnamese sea bandits killed in Beibu Gulf
Updated: 2005-01-16 23:22

Chinese maritime police shot and killed several armed robbers and captured eight others who were trying to rob Chinese fishing boats operating last week in Chinese waters in the Beibu Gulf, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, on the morning of January 8, several Chinese fishing boats from Hainan Province were operating on the Chinese side of the Beibu Gulf, and were attacked by three unidentified armed vessels by gunmen trying to rob them.

Chinese maritime police rushed to the site after receiving a report from the fishermen. The three armed vessels opened fire at the police boats and injured Chinese law enforcement personnel, Kong said.

The Chinese police were forced to take necessary actions, and fired several shots, killing several gunmen and seizing one of the armed vessels and eight suspected robbers along with weapons and ammunition and tools, he said.

Calling it a "serious armed robbery case at sea," Kong said the robbers had confessed they were Vietnamese, and that they had committed four previous armed robberies of Chinese fishing boats in the same area.

The Chinese side has informed the Vietnamese government of the issue in detail in accordance with the Sino-Vietnamese consulate treaty, Kong said.

"China has abundant and irrefutable human testimony and material evidence, and will handle the case according to Chinese law."

The spokesman said since the agreements on demarcation and fishery co-operation in the Beibu Gulf between China and Viet Nam took effect last June, the overall situation there is stable. However, the armed robberies of Chinese fishing boats have posed serious threats to the lives and property of Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen.

China is willing to co-operate closely with Viet Nam so that the two countries can take effective measures to combat maritime crime and safeguard security and stability in the Beibu Gulf, he said.

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