Indonesian warship fires on Chinese fishing fleet, killing one crewman

An Indonesian warship opened fire on Chinese fishing boats it suspected of using illegal nets, killing one crew member and wounding two others, an Indonesian navy spokesman said.

The four Chinese fishing boats did not respond to radio and visual signals from the warship and tried to flee after warning shots were fired on Monday in the Arafuru sea off Papua Island, said Toni Syaiful from Indonesia's eastern fleet.

The warship then fired several rounds from its 20 mm gun at the largest vessel in the fleet, Syaiful said.

"We were upholding the law and we responded in line with procedures," he told el-Shinta radio. "The nets the vessels were using were illegal."

The dead crewman and his two injured colleagues were all Chinese citizens, he said.

The military attache at the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta said he had not heard of the incident.

The damaged ship was towed to the nearest port of Meurake on Papua Island.

The three other fishing vessels escaped from the scene and Indonesian naval vessels in the area searched for them, Syaiful said, reports the AP.

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