A US military fuel supply ship fired at a small fishing boat in the Persian Gulf on Monday killing one person and injuring three on board, according to US officials.
The Navy ship, USNS Rappahannock, fired at the "small, white pleasure craft" 10 miles from the Dubai port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates -- in Gulf waters not far from Iran's maritime boundaries. Officials say the boat had come 'too close' to the Navy supply ship.
A United Arab Emirates official told ABC News it was a fishing boat with four Indians and two Emirates on board.
The small boat was headed for the port when it came within close vicinity of the ship. The US ship 'verbally warned' the boat to turn away. "When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun," officials said.
The boat steered from the ship after the assault and sat in the UAE port before rescue workers carried away one person in a body bag and officials removed the boat from the harbor.
The U.S. is currently in the midst of a massive military build-up in the Persian Gulf on a scale not seen in the region since prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
* * *
# # #