Taiwan Protesters Pelt US Mission with Fish

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 8:45 am (UTC-5)
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Fishermen in Taiwan have pelted the de facto U..S. embassy in Taipei with dead fish, to protest the death of a Taiwanese fishing captain killed last month in a crossfire between the U.S. Navy and Somali pirates.

The protesters, members of the Taiwan Fishermen's Rights Association, demanded a public apology from the United States for the death of Wu Lai-yu, the captain of a fishing trawler hijacked in 2010 and used by pirates for more than a year to launch attacks on shipping in the Indian Ocean. Protesters also demanded a full investigation, and promised further demonstrations if their demands are not met.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Wu was aboard the captured vessel and died May 10 in a crossfire between pirates and the crew of the U.S. guided missile frigate the USS Stephen W. Groves. The trawler was sunk in the confrontation and three pirates were killed. Two Chinese sailors were rescued.

Wu's family had been negotiating with the pirates for his release.

The foreign affairs ministry said it is awaiting a U.S. report on its investigation of the incident.

A spokeswoman at the American Institute in Taiwan, which handles U.S. affairs, said Washington will inform the ministry as soon as it has more information on the case.

The AIT, where Tuesday's protest occurred, has handled civil exchanges with Taiwan since Washington switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.