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25 Chinese fishermen detained in Palau arrive home

(Xinhua)

08:09, April 19, 2012

Chinese fishermen who have been released from a detention in Palau arrive at Meilan Airport in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, April 18, 2012. Twenty-five Chinese fishermen, who have been detained in Palau since March 31, returned to Haikou by a chartered Hainan Airlines plane at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, along with the remains of a colleague who was killed by Palau marine police. The fishermen, all from the island province of Hainan, have been held in Palau for suspected illegal entry and fishing. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

HAIKOU, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-five Chinese fishermen who have been held in Palau since March 31 arrived in south China's Hainan Province via a chartered Hainan Airlines plane on Wednesday.

The fishermen, all from the island province of Hainan, arrived at the Haikou Meilan International Airport at 5 p.m. Wednesday along with the remains of their slain colleague Lu Yong.

Lu, 32, was killed by Palau marine police on March 31 during a confrontation that ensued over accusations of illegal fishing on the part of the Chinese.

Under a settlement with the Palau government which was ratified by Palau Supreme Court on April 13, the 25 fishermen conceded the misdemeanor of illegal entry and fishing and were fined 1,000 U.S. dollars each.

Meanwhile, the family members of the slain fisherman urged the Palau government to compensate them for what Palau President Johnson Toribiong called an 'accidental' killing.

Some questions have been raised about Lu's death, as the Palau officers fired on an unarmed vessel, a violation of international maritime law.

Lu Yong, who began fishing at the age of 15, was the breadwinner of his family.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Wednesday that China will keep communicating with the Palau side to properly handle the consequences of the incident.

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