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Taiwan mistakenly fires missile towards China

Taipei, Taiwan - A Taiwanese warship mistakenly launched a supersonic  "aircraft carrier killer" missile towards China on Friday, the navy said. The domestically developed Hsiung-feng III(Brave Wind) missile, with a range of 300 kilometers, flew about 75 kilometers before plunging into waters off Penghu, a Taiwanese-administered island groupin the Taiwan Strait.

The navy said it was not clear how the missile had come to be launched, but suggested it could have been due to human error.

"Our initial investigation found that the operation was not done in accordance with normal procedure," Vice Admiral Mei Chia-shu told reporters, adding that an investigation was on going.

The missile was fired during a drill at around 8:10am (0010 GMT) from a 500-tonne missile ship docked at a naval base in the Southern city of Tsoyingand flew in the direction of China.
 Helicopters and nvy ships were sent to search for the missile, Mei said, adding that the military had reported the gaffe to the island's top security body, the National Security Conferrence.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles China policy, declined to say whether the incident had been reported to Beijing.

Ties between Taipei and Beijing have been deteriorated since President Tsai Ing-wen of the China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party was elected in January. China still insest that Taiwan is part of its territory.

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