The fishermen claim that in the July 2012 incident they had no warning before the U.S. vessel opened fire and that their boat tried to avoid contact. A spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet said that non-lethal measures were taken while trying to signal the vessel, which did not respond. The security team then fired, he added. The incident took place when tensions were high in the Gulf, as U.S. forces were increasing pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. The U.S has been cautious about attacks on its ships since two al Qaeda suicide bombers rammed an explosives-laden boat into the USS Cole in 2000 off Yemen, killing 17 U.S. sailors.
The lawsuit was registered against the Pentagon in a Dubai court in January, Reuters reported. The first hearing was held Feb. 17, but lawyers representing the fishermen only disclosed details of the case later in the week. Neither the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi nor the Indian Consulate in Dubai would comment on the legal action. The lawyers indicated that they have asked the court to appoint a maritime expert to examine the case. (Reuters)