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Philippines completes mission to disputed shoal after Chinese water cannon incident

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines said it completed a resupply mission to its grounded warship on a contested atoll in the South China Sea on Tuesday, two weeks after it had to abort a similar attempt when a China Coast Guard vessel fired water cannon at its boats.

The country's task force on the South China Sea said in a statement the mission to the Second Thomas Shoal was carried out despite attempts by the China Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia "to block, harass, and interfere".

China's Coast Guard said in a statement it "made temporary arrangements" for Manila to deliver food and necessities to the atoll, which it also claims, on humanitarian grounds.

A small number of Philippine troops live aboard the World War Two-era warship Sierra Madre which the Southeast Asian nation intentionally grounded in the Second Thomas Shoal in 1999 to reinforce its sovereignty claim to the atoll.

An Aug. 5 mission by the Philippines to transport provisions for its troops there was interrupted by China Coast Guard vessels, which Manila said, used water cannon against one of its boats. The incident drew a response from the United States which condemned Beijing's "dangerous actions" in the disputed waters.

China maintains the Philippines' occupation of the shoal is illegal.

(Reporting by Karen Lema and Liz Lee; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)