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8 Philippines sailors injured in recent incident with China in South China Sea

8 Philippines sailors injured in recent incident with China in South China Sea

 
- Chinese Coast Guard blocked, boarded, searched Philippines vessel on Monday, reports local media
 

By Islamuddin Sajid

ANKARA (AA) - At least eight Philippines sailors were injured on Monday when China Coast Guard 'searched' a Philippines vessel in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, local media reported on Wednesday.

During a confrontation between the two countries' forces in the disputed South China Sea, the finger of a soldier was also cut off, Philippine media outlet Inquirer reported citing official sources.

On Tuesday, armed forces of the Philippines confirmed that one Navy sailor sustained a “severe injury” after an “intentional high-speed ramming” by the China Coast Guard (CCG) during the resupply mission.

Filipino officials also claimed that Chinese CCG personnel punctured navy boats using their bolos and also seized their guns.

“We have arms, but we did not use those. We don’t want to start a war," the media outlet quoted Philippines chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. as saying and added their soldiers fought with bare hands to prevent Chinese CCG from hitting them.

On Monday, China Coast Guard (CCG) personnel “blocked, boarded, searched” a Philippines vessel which “intruded” into waters near Ren'ai, a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea.

During a fresh escalation, CCG forces forcefully expelled the Philippines vessel from the disputed waters where it “attempted to send materials to its illegally grounded warship,” said the CCG.

It was the first time since the CCG implemented its new rules of engagements in the vast disputed sea on Saturday.

Under the new guidelines, China can detain suspected trespassers for up to 60 days.

The Philippine ship was on a resupply mission to a grounded World War II-era warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, on the shoal claimed both by Beijing and Manila.

While Beijing accused Manila of “violating” the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, the latter called China's claims “deceptive and misleading.”

The two maritime neighbors have conflicting claims over the Second Thomas Shoal — also known as the Ayungin Shoal, Bai Co May, and Ren'ai Jiao — a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

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