A Vietnamese police chief said Thursday that two of their sailors were injured when gunmen wearing Philippine uniform opened fire on Saturday night in the disputed Spratly Islands along the South China Sea.
Relatives of the 14 fishermen told the village police head that four unidentified shooters jumped onto the Vietnamese fishing vessel and opened fire hurting the boat captain and a crewman before they fled using their own boat. The motive of the attack was unknown, said Asia One News.
Citing the sailors' relatives, police chief Tieu Viet Thanh of Binh Chau commune in coastal Quang Ngai province said, "They could not identify whether the attackers were naval forces or sea police of the Philippines. They were wearing uniforms from the Philippines."
He also said that the injuries were not serious. The attackers took away fish, food and fuel from the Vietnamese boat.
A military spokesman in Manila said there were no reports of the incident over the group of islands.
Commodore Mike Rodriguez said, "We definitely would not open fire. Rules of engagement say you do not use gunfire except in self-defense."
The injured sailors were boat captain Nguyen Tan Luan and crewman Le Quang Tu.
The PDI said the injured sailors were taken to Malaysia for treatment after the shooting incident.
It was reported that the boat was contracted to fish in the Malaysia waters and was traveling to their home country.
The resource-rich Spratly Islands is claimed in whole or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Details of this report here.