“We condemn and strongly object to the inhuman treatment of, use of or threat to use force against its fishermen,” foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said, referring to the killing on November 26.

He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is liaising closely with relevant agencies and has ordered Vietnamese representative agencies in East Sea littoral countries to expeditiously get any possible information about the incident.

So far no one has admitted to responsibility for the attack.

Deputy Minister of Defense Vo Trong Viet has instructed the border guard agency to investigate the case.

The Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department and Vietnam Fisheries Association have also strongly protested the attack.

The body of the dead fisherman, Truong Dinh Bay, 45, was brought to Quang Ngai Province Tuesday morning wrapped in canvas with ice intended for his catch.

The fishermen handed over four shells from the attackers’ gun.

A source told Thanh Nien that they are possibly from an AR15 rifle.

Bay suffered two shots in his chest and stomach.

According to Bui Van Cu, the fishing boat captain, they were attacked at around 6:15 am while docked near Suoi Ngoc (Alicia Annie) Reef in the Spratlys.

Cu and Bay had been the only people on board since the other 12 fishermen had gone fishing in smaller boats.

Two speedboats approached them and three men with a rifle jumped into their boat as they attempted to sail away.

Seeing one man shooting at Bay, Cu rushed in and managed to grab his gun and throw it into the water. The men jumped off quickly.

Cu called shore and left for home quickly.

Police and border guards began a probe as soon as the boat arrived in Quang Ngai.

Vo Van Trac, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Fisheries Association, said shooting at fishermen is inhumane and unacceptable under any circumstances.

“Relevant agencies, especially the coast guard and Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department, need to take more determined action to protect fishermen.”

By Truong Son & Hien Cu - Thanh Nien News - December 2, 2015

Vietnam orders investigation into shooting death of fisherman in Vietnamese waters

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered a thorough investigation into a case in which a Vietnamese fisherman was shot dead on his boat in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

A local fishery association has said the murderers were Filipinos.

The ministry is cooperating with relevant authorities to carry out the investigation and requires Vietnamese representative offices in countries around the East Vietnam Sea to clarify issues regarding the death, spokesperson Le Hai Binh said on Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian country vehemently condemns and opposes the use of threats and violence against Vietnamese fishermen under any circumstances, Binh added.

“We would like to send our deepest condolences to the family of the victim and hope that they will soon overcome the tragedy," he said.

The fishing boat QNg 95861 TS, from the central province of Quang Ngai, was carrying 14 Vietnamese fishermen when it was attacked by a group of foreigners, resulting in the death of one crew member on November 26.

Twelve of the fishermen were on a diving mission, leaving only the victim, 42 year-old Truond Dinh Bay, and Captain Bui Van Cu on the boat at the time of the shooting.

The foreigners approached and then boarded the Vietnamese boat, before opening fire on Bay, resulting in his immediate death, Captain Cu recounted.

The intruders left after struggling with the boat captain.

The body of the deceased victim was brought ashore on Tuesday so that competent authorities could carry out an autopsy and investigation.

Police are also processing the fishing boat and the four cartridges which were discovered after the attack.

The Vietnam Fishery Association submitted a document to the government and relevant authorities on Tuesday, saying that the boat was attacked by a group of eight Filipinos.

The killing is an act which violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and affects the life and production of all Vietnamese fishermen, the association said in the document.

Tuoi Tre News - December 1, 2015