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Rescued Cuban Rafters Might Have Shot Themselves, US Official Says

Twelve Cuban migrants drift aboard two life rafts provided by a Coast Guard aircraft that located the migrants aboard a partially submerged migrant vessel 100 miles southwest of Key West, Florida, Dec. 17, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Twelve Cuban migrants drift aboard two life rafts provided by a Coast Guard aircraft that located the migrants aboard a partially submerged migrant vessel 100 miles southwest of Key West, Florida, Dec. 17, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The seven Cuban rafters recently found with gunshot wounds south of Key West might have injured themselves to force the U.S. Coast Guard to bring them ashore, according to a U.S. official familiar with the case.

However, the official said authorities will not take any action against the rafters because there is no evidence to pursue a criminal case.

"There is a strong possibility that these Cubans injured themselves, but I am unable to confirm that," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The raft was found last weekend in which 26 Cuban migrants were traveling. They were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard . Since their arrival, the six wounded migrants brought ashore have maintained that they suffered the injuries when they were attacked by a band of criminals who wanted them to steal their raft.

Frank Miller, a spokesman for the Border Patrol, said the six wounded Cubans brought ashore for medical care, were processed under auspices of the Cuban Adjustment Act and that the Border Patrol does not plan any further action.

Under the current wet foot, "dry foot" policy, Cuban rafters who reach U.S. soil can stay while those intercepted at sea are usually returned to Cuba.

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