July 16, 2012 / 5:13 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-US Navy fires on small boat off UAE

(Adds statement)

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) - A security team aboard a U.S. Navy refueling ship fired upon a small motor boat off the United Arab Emirates on Monday after it ignored warnings to halt its approach, officials said.

Details on the incident were scarce, including whether anyone was killed or injured when the team opened fire. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ship was believed to have sped away after being fired upon.

A spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command declined comment about casualties and referred the question to authorities in the UAE. Officials there could not be immediately reached for comment.

The motor boat ignored a series of non-lethal warnings as the ship approached the Rappahannock, in the waters near the UAE port of Jebel Ali, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement.

"The U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach," it said, adding the incident was under investigation. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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