US apologizes to Egypt over Suez Canal incident

March 25th, 2008 - 11:03 pm ICT by admin  

Cairo, March 25 (DPA) The US ambassador to Egypt apologized Tuesday over an incident in which a US cargo vessel opened fire on an Egyptian boat near the Suez Canal, killing one man and injuring two. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardoni told the Dubai-based al-Arabiya television that the incident was regrettable.

“We are really sorry over this outcome (of the accident). We will open an inquiry into it,” Ricciardoni said.

The crew of the Global Patriot had warned the occupants of the smaller vessel - reportedly Egyptian traders - not to sail closer and opened fire when they failed to heed the warnings, security sources said.

Mohamed Arafa Hamdy, 23, was shot dead, while two other traders were wounded, the sources said.

The incident happened as the Global Patriot waited to cross the Suez Canal from the Red Sea to the Gulf with its cargo of used US military equipment from Dubai, reports said.

Local traders usually sail along the canal, selling cigarettes and merchandise to passing ships.

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