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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Somali clash over fish

Somali fishermen say they have been involved in armed clashes with unidentified foreign fishing fleets who they say are taking advantage of the lack of a recognised central authority in Somalia to plunder its fish stocks.

In the most recent clash, the fishermen complain that five foreign vessels, carrying no flags or means of identification, drove them from their traditional fishing grounds using heavy weapons.

The fishermen attempted to fight back with rocket-propelled grenades, but say their weapons did not have the range to hit the ships.

The Somalis say they tried adapting their tactics by fishing at night, but the foreign boats reacted by crushing their nets during the following day.

The fishermen say foreign vessels are also dumping toxic waste of all kinds off the coast.

Somalia has had no recognised government for 11 years.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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