New Delhi/Dubai, July 17 (IANS) India Tuesday asked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to thoroughly investigate the deadly US attack on a motorboat in the Persian Gulf that left an Indian fisherman dead and three more wounded.
As the US offered its condolences to the families of the victims saying it was probing the Monday incident, India said it was taking up the matter with the governments of UAE and the US.
"We are in touch with our envoys in Dubai and the US and we have instructed them to take it up with the respective Governments," External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters in Delhi.
The minister said that the government in UAE had already filed the case regarding this incident.
"It is unfortunate that an Indian fisherman has been killed. On behalf of the government of India, I condole the death. We have earnestly taken up the matter."
A ship of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain opened fire at the boat carrying Indian fishermen off the UAE coast in the Persian Gulf.
The fleet later issued a statement saying that the USNS Rappahannock, an oiler used to fuel other Navy ships at the sea, attacked the small motorboat near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali, because the small vessel "ignored the warnings and came too close".
"The US crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun," the statement said.
It said the incident is being probed.
US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell spoke to Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai to convey her "regret" for the loss of life and assured that the US government would conduct full investigation.
In a statement, the embassy conveyed its "condolences to the families of the crew of the small motor vessel".
External ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said India was trying for the early repatriation of the body of the fisherman
"India's ambassador in Abu Dhabi has requested UAE authorities to probe the circumstances of the tragic incident," he said.
Akbaruddin tweeted that India's acting consul general in Dubai has rushed to Jebel Ali port "to provide necessary assistance to Indian nationals involved in Gulf incident".
Meanwhile, the UAE also said it was probing the incident. Tariq Ahmed Al Haidan, the assistant to the UAE foreign minister for political affairs, said: "The concerned UAE authorities are investigating the shooting incident."
The Monday shooting comes months after another incident involving Italian marines guarding an oil tanker who shot dead two Indian fishermen off the coast of the southern Indian state of Kerala.
The February shooting caused a diplomatic row between Italy and India.
Two Italian marines have been charged with murder and are on trial in an Indian court.
Italy says that the fishermen approached the tanker suspiciously while ignoring warnings from marines.