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Taiwan dispatches fleet to protect fishing boats

Xinhua

TAIPEI - Taiwan authorities decided on Sunday to dispatch a fleet to conduct regular patrol in waters to the south of the island to guard fishing boats following the shooting-death of a Taiwan fisherman by the Philippine side at sea.

The fleet is made up of three coast guard ships loaded with cannons and machine guns, as well as a naval vessel carrying a S70-C helicopter.

Prior to the incident, there were one or two coast guard ships paroling in that region.

Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou visited the victim's family on Sunday afternoon, vowing to deliver justice and to strengthen protection of fishermen.

The shooting happened on Thursday morning 164 nautical miles southeast of the southernmost tip of Taiwan, according to the island's coast guard authority.

The victim was identified as Hung Shih-Cheng, 65, one of four crew members of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Guang Ta Hsin 28. Hung's body was taken back to Taiwan early Saturday morning.