U.S. Ship Fires on Motorboat in Gulf of Suez; 1 Dead

An Egyptian man was shot dead and two others wounded in an incident involving a U.S.-flagged cargo ship transversing the Suez Canal in the direction of the Mediterannean Sea, reported security officials late Monday.

After sunset, a motor boat carrying three Egyptians approached the "Global Patriot" with the intent of selling products when the ship opened fire on it with tracer bullets killing Mohammed Fouad and wounding the other two occupants, said an Egyptian navy official on customary condition of anonymity.

A police official in Cairo, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the incident, adding that some hundred other boat vendors had since gathered near the cargo ship and were demanding an investigation into the shooting.

There is a "Global Patriot" registered to the New York-based Global Container Lines and, according to the company Web site, the vessel trades between the United States, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the East Africa.

Company representative Homruz Shayegan told The Associated Press by telephone from New York that he had no information on the incident.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain also had not heard about the event.

According to the Egyptian naval official, the ship had sailed from Dubai and was transporting used military equipment. It had completed crossing canal and was in a waiting area, known as the Zenobia Lighthouse, in preparation to enter the Mediterranean when the incident took place.

Fisherman and small motor boats constantly ply the waters of the canal looking to sell cigarettes and other local products to passing ships.