Japanese say whalers were injured in latest Sea Shepherd clash

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Three crewmembers of a Japanese whaling vessel reportedly suffered face and eye injuries from acid fired by a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship during their latest clash in the Antarctic.

The Sea Shepherd protesters said they lobbed butyric acid - produced from stinking, rancid butter - which they often aim at the whalers to try to disrupt the annual Japanese hunt. The activists maintain that butyric acid is non-toxic.

The injuries, sustained Thursday, were the first to Japanese whalers this year in confrontations with the activists, although there have been two ship collisions for which each side blamed the other.

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