Police Chief: Marine police shot Vietnamese vessels in self defense

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BANGKOK, 18 September 2015 -The Royal Thai Police has claimed that Thai marine police opened fire on a Vietnamese fishing boat last week in self-defense as they were under attack.

In response to Reuters’ report that Thai marine police killed 1 Vietnamese fisherman and injured 2 others a few days ago, Police Chief Police General Somyos Poompanmuang said the action was an act of self defense, saying the police were under attack by the fishermen.

According to the Police Chief, the marine police were inspecting a Vietnamese trawler on Thai waters when other Vietnamese trawlers appeared and surrounded the Thai police patrol boat.

The maritime police were forced to open fire given the Vietnamese fishing vessels attempted to ram into their boat. The police chief said the Thai police had no intention of causing any harm to anyone on the fishing boat, as they only fired warning shots to protect themselves and to keep the Vietnamese trawlers away.

He further added that it was difficult for the police to tell from 100 meters away whether there were any casualties when they fired the warning shots. However, the Police Chief criticized the Marine Police Chief for not informing him sooner.