'U.S. ship approached by speeding boats in Gulf'

'USS patrol ship, encountered the unidentified boats while travelling north in the Gulf,' said US navy spokesman.

'U.S. ship approached by speeding boats in Gulf'

A US naval vessel fired a flare to warn three high speed boats that approached it while sailing in the Gulf, a Navy spokesman confirmed Friday.

The USS Typhoon, a patrol ship, was travelling north in the Gulf when it encountered the unidentified boats Thursday, Lieutenant Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the US 5th Fleet in Bahrain said.

"Typhoon issued standard inquiries to incoming small boats by a bridge-to-bridge radio," Christensen said. "Upon receiving no response, Typhoon fired a flare."

The small boats then turned away and moved out of visible range, Christensen said. The nationality of the boats could not be identified, he added.

US Navy ships in the Gulf have in the past had encounters with small Iranian boats, and an unnamed source told Iran's official IRNA news agency that there had been routine radio contact between US and Iranian vessels.

IRAN: REPORTS ARE BASELESS

The source told IRNA that reports about a confrontation between three Iranian speedboats and the Typhoon were baseless, saying after the radio contact, the US ship was allowed to continue its course.

One of the bigger incidents between the two countries took place in January, when three Iranian fast boats came dangerously close to three US warships in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz before vanishing as the one of the US vessels was preparing to open fire.

The incident prompted strong criticism from President George W Bush, who warned the Iranians "there will be serious consequences if they attack our ships."

Agencies
Last Mod: 12 Nisan 2008, 11:07
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