WASHINGTON – President Bush telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday to apologize for the fatal shooting of an Egyptian by a sentry aboard a ship under contract to the U.S. Navy.
Bush promised that the incident, which occurred Monday, will be fully investigated, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
The shooting occurred after the Global Patriot, a civilian ship under a short-term Navy contract, had entered the Suez Canal on Monday to make its transit from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
Small motor boats approached to sell their wares to those aboard. A Navy security team shouted verbal warnings to stay away, then fired shots. A man in one of the boats, Mohammed Fouad, was killed.
In Thursday's phone call, "President Bush expressed his deep regret and sympathies for the incident in the Suez Canal and said the United States would fully investigate this," Johndroe said.
He spoke to reporters on Air Force One en route to Dayton, Ohio where Bush gave a speech at the U.S. Air Force Museum.
The Navy already expressed regret for the shooting and promised to take care of Fouad's family.