Photo 1 - A Multi-Purpose Assault Craft of the Philippine Navy during a patrol of the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga. Photo 2 - US troops stationed in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. Photo 3 - Muslim fishermen in Basilan province in the southern Philippines. Photo 4 - A US patrol boat speeds off Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 19, 2012) – A US special operations vessel rammed a small Filipino boat off Basilan province in the southern Philippines killing a Muslim fisherman and injured another, a local army spokesman confirmed on Thursday.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, of the Western Mindanao Command, said the vessel – a Mark V Special Operations Craft – collided with the fisherman’s boat late Wednesday.
“The fisherman died and another is injured in the accident. There is an investigation going on, but initial report says the fishing boat had no lights and was on the path of the speed boat,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.
The US vessel is under the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines based inside the military’s Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City.
The fisherman was returning to Basilan when the accident occurred. It was not immediately known whether the fisherman’s family would file charges against the US troops involved in the accident.
The US and the Philippines are currently holding a joint military exercise in Basilan and Zamboanga City where political activists are demanding the pull out of American forces in the country.
Some 600 US troops are deployed in the southern Philippines and training local soldiers in fighting terrorism. (Mindanao Examiner)