Iraq says U.S. Navy is polluting its waters

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Posted by Tony from ? ( on Friday, October 04, 2002 at 12:53PM :

Tuesday, September 24, 2002
By Reuters

BAGHDAD Iraqi television Monday accused the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of polluting Iraq's
territorial waters with fuel and harassing its fishers.

Iraq's satellite TV channel said American frigates in the Gulf had deliberately contaminated
Iraqi waters with large quantities of fuel. The fuel dumping could cause an ecological disaster
and threaten Iraq's fish stocks, it said.

The channel added that U.S. vessels in the Gulf were being used to harass Iraqi fishers.
"Sometimes helicopters hover over the vessel and ask it through radio to stop. Then boats
carrying armed soldiers come and the soldiers board the vessel and start to search it," a
captain of an Iraqi fishing vessel was quoted as saying.

"What are they looking for? We do not know. It is a civilian ship and not a warship," he said.

A U.S.-led multinational interception force is policing the Gulf to prevent the smuggling in and
out of Iraq of goods banned under U.N. sanctions.

An Iraqi weekly newspaper reported that the U.S. Navy had intercepted a vessel carrying
Iraqi workers. "An American boat committed an aggression and a piracy act against the Iraqi
vessel Taj al-Ma'arik on Sept. 15 while it was transporting a group of workers from Faw to
Mina al-Bakr port," Nabdh al-Shabab weekly newspaper said.

The paper said the captain of the Iraqi vessel and his assistant were interrogated by the
crew of the American boat.

Copyright 2002, Reuters
All Rights Reserved

-- Tony
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