Sabotage was behind ship’s sinking, says Argentina

British MP wants to secure French support over Falklands

The Argentinean destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad lies on its side in Puerto Belgrano.
The Argentinean destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad lies on its side in Puerto Belgrano.AP

Argentina's Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli said Wednesday that he hadn't ruled out the possibility that the sinking of a missile destroyer used during the 1982 Falklands War over the weekend was deliberate.

Argentinean navy officials on Monday reported finding the Santísima Trinidad leaning on its side, propped against a fishing boat, at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base. The navy's statement said it had "a six-inch tear that led to the entering of a significant amount of water."

"It is strange that while it was moored at port, it could sink in a question of hours without any apparent reason," said Puricelli.

Tensions between Argentina and Great Britain, which fought the brief war for control of the South Atlantic islands, have heightened over the past year after Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner renewed her demands for Britain to turn over the Falklands to her government.

MP's appeal

A member of the British parliament has called on London to ask France to help his country in "any eventual war with Argentina" over the Falklands.

France should assist Britain in the same way London is helping Paris in its ongoing military operations in Mali, David Crausby, Labour MP for Bolton North East, told the House of Commons.

"I don't think there will be a conflict but we can't be so sure," he said.

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