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Russian Border Patrol Ship Opens Fire on Chinese Poachers

MTThe Sea of Japan. The Russian city of Nakhodka, to where authorities said the Chinese schooner would be escorted, is highlighted in red.

A Russian border patrol ship in the Sea of Japan opened fire on a schooner poaching under the Chinese flag, a news report said Tuesday.

The crew of the Dzerzhinsky spotted the Chinese vessel Monday within Russia's exclusive economic zone and attempted to contact it, a border patrol spokesman told RIA-Novosti.

But the ship did not respond and attempted to escape, prompting a three-hour pursuit in which Russian border guards first fired warning shots, then collided with the vessel and fired on it directly as the crew of the schooner tried to resist being boarded by Russian troops.

None of the 17 Chinese nationals on board were harmed as a result of the gunfire, according to the news agency, but one person from the Chinese vessel went missing after falling from the ship during the collision.

The Chinese crew was unable to produce documentation showing that they had permission to fish in Russian waters, nor for the 22.5 tons of squid discovered on board.

A representative of the Border Guard Service said the ship would be escorted to the nearest port in Nakhodka for further proceedings, RIA-Novosti reported.

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