Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Pirates kill four U.S. hostages near Somalia

Posted by Admin on February 23, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110222/ts_nm/us_somalia_pirates_usa;_ylt=AmQoAqYx4fh5dsKMCkCttcd34T0D;_ylu=X3oDMTJybzVyZWM5BGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwMjIyL3VzX3NvbWFsaWFfcGlyYXRlc191c2EEcG9zAzQEc2VjA3luX2FydGljbGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNwaXJhdGVza2lsbGY-

Somali Islamists, pirates dispute ransom cuts
Armed Somali Pirate watches on…
By Phil Stewart Phil Stewart 13 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pirates shot dead four U.S. hostages on a private yacht on Tuesday, the deadliest incident involving Americans kidnapped for ransom in the increasingly dangerous waters off Somalia.

The U.S. military said the pirates shot the hostages before American special forces boarded the vessel.

U.S. troops killed two pirates as they took control of the boat, and took 15 pirates into custody. Another two pirates were found dead when U.S. special forces arrived but they were not killed by U.S. forces, the military said.

“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Gen James N. Mattis, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command.

Pirate gangs preying on shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean typically target large merchant ships, with oil tankers the prize catch, but the snatching of foreigners can also yield high ransoms. There were around 750 pirate hostages at the end of January.

The Americans killed on Tuesday were Jean and Scott Adam, from California, as well as Phyllis Macay, Bob Riggle, from Seattle, Washington.

U.S. forces learned of the hijacking on Friday.

The U.S. military said negotiations with the pirates had been under way when on Tuesday morning, without warning, a pirate fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett.

Then gunfire broke out inside the pirated vessel.

“The intent always had been that this would be a negotiated process and not ever go into a point where we actually had gunfire,” said Vice Admiral Mark Fox, the head of U.S. naval forces in the turbulent region.

President Barack Obama had authorized the use of force in the case of an imminent threat to the hostages, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Obama was notified of the deaths at 4:42 a.m. EST

REVENGE

Two Somali pirates who spoke with Reuters by telephone said the hostages were ordered killed since the pirates themselves were under attack by U.S. forces.

“Our colleagues called us this morning, that they were being attacked by a U.S. warship,” Mohamud, a Somali pirate, told Reuters. “We ordered our comrades to kill the four Americans before they got killed.”

Pirate leader Farah, speaking from Bayla, a pirate haven in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, vowed to avenge the deaths and capture of his comrades.

“I lost the money I invested and my comrades. No forgiveness for the Americans. Revenge. Our business will go on,” he said, adding he had spent $110,000 so far in the hijacking, including on weapons and food and salaries.

Vice Admiral Fox said the incident was yet another sign of how pirates are using larger “mother ships” to move further out to sea, and cautioned vessels to heed warnings about pirate activity in the region.

“The pirates have been able to go for long distances out to sea, up to 1,300, 1,400 nautical miles away from Somalia,” Fox said, saying pirate activity went all the way to off the coast of India and down to Madagascar.

In April 2009, U.S. Navy special forces freed the captain of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama by killing three Somali pirates who held him hostage in a lifeboat. Obama had authorized the use of force in that incident as well.

(Additional reporting by Alister Bull in Washington and Mohamed Ahmed and Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu; Editing by Vicki Allen and Frances Kerry)

Advertisements

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
%d bloggers like this: