Syrian coast guards fire on Lebanese fishing boat

February 20, 2007 14:22


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Syrian coast guards fired Tuesday on a small Lebanese fishing boat that had strayed into Syrian waters, killing a Lebanese fisherman, Lebanese security officials said. The coast guards opened fire as the Lebanese boat of two crewmen was retrieving its nets, which had drifted into Syrian waters overnight, the Lebanese officials said. There was no immediate comment from Syria. The officials said one of the two fishermen, Diab Ahmed Kuwaiza, was killed immediately but the other, Kuwaiza's brother Nimr, survived and managed to steer their boat back into Lebanese waters. Nimr could not say whether the Syrian fire came from guns on land or on a coast guard boat because he was too shocked by the sudden killing of his brother, the officials said. A Lebanese naval vessel later towed the fishing boat to the northern port of Tripoli. Last year, Lebanese soldiers shot dead a Syrian smuggler on the border, and Lebanese troops clashed with pro-Syrian Palestinian guerrillas in a border firefight in which a Lebanese soldier was killed. Syrian authorities have also detained, and released, several Lebanese fishermen who entered the Syrian waters of the Mediterranean.

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