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Bush expresses regret in Suez Canal death

  |   March 27, 2008 at 5:56 PM
WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush called Egypt's president to express sympathy for a civilian's death in the Suez Canal shooting incident, the White House said.

Bush "expressed his deep regret and sympathies" to Hosni Mubarak Thursday over the death of an Egyptian who died when warning shots were fired from a U.S. vessel this week, presidential spokesman Gordon Johndroe said during a media briefing.

The president also said the United States would "fully investigate" the incident involving a cargo ship contracted by the U.S. military, echoing the pledge made by the U.S. 5th Fleet.

Officials said the Global Patriot fired warning shots at a small boat that approached as the chartered U.S. ship prepared to navigate the Suez Canal. Two other boats also approached the ship, but turned away following warnings from the Global Patriot.

"We are greatly saddened by events that apparently resulted in this accidental death," Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, 5th Fleet commander, said Wednesday in a release. "This situation is tragic, and we will do our utmost to help take care of the family of the deceased."

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