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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 September 2005, 04:58 GMT 05:58 UK
China protests at warship attack
Indonesian naval sailors (archive image)
Indonesia has been tightening its maritime security
China has called on Indonesia to rein in its navy after a warship attacked a fishing boat, killing a crew member.

Its foreign ministry summoned an Indonesian diplomat in Beijing to express anger at the "inhumane" attack.

The Indonesian warship challenged the Chinese boat on Monday over alleged poaching in the Arafura Sea between Australia and Indonesia.

The warship then opened fire, killing one and injuring two crew members, and 10 sailors were taken into custody.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Beijing hoped Indonesia would discipline the relevant units and sort out disputes with a "sober and restrained" attitude in future.

Warning ignored

According to a Chinese foreign ministry statement, Indonesia's charge d'affaires said the detained crew members were being treated well and the matter would be handled "appropriately".

The Indonesian navy said earlier that the boat was in a group of four Chinese vessels suspected of fishing illegally.

They were challenged but failed to respond to radio signals and tried to escape after which the warship fired several rounds from its 20mm gun at the largest of the four, an Indonesian navy spokesman said.

"We were upholding the law and we responded in line with procedures," he told el-Shinta radio.

"The nets the vessels were using were illegal," he said.

The fishing boat and its crew were taken to a naval base in Merauke, on the south-eastern coast of Indonesia's Papua province.

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