USS Haditha Accidentally Sinks Fishing Boat, Machine-Guns Survivors
MANAMA, Bahrain — In a rare setback for the international anti-piracy campaign off Somalia, U.S. Navy officials today admitted that the American warship USS Haditha accidentally sank a Chinese fishing vessel just east of Somalia and then inadvertently machine-gunned the survivors.
This contradicted the Haditha's initial report, which said that it had been attacked by seven pirate skiffs and a pair of pirate-operated Mirage jets armed with Exocet missiles.
Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, the commander of the United States 5th Fleet, spoke to reporters following reports that a fishing vessel had been "blown out of the water" by "an unusually well-armed warship that happened to be flying an American flag."
Capt. Erik King, the commander of the Haditha, claims that his ship was simply following the rules of engagement.
According to him, the Haditha originally spotted what it thought was a pirate vessel while patrolling 75 nautical miles east of Somalia.
"She was casually steaming up and down the coast …
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