Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wire: Somali Pirates Attack Another US Flagged Ship

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2009 -- Newswires reported today that heavily armed Somali pirates fired grenades and automatic weapons at an American freighter loaded with food aid Tuesday but failed to seize the ship before a U.S. Navy destroyer showed up to provide assistance.

The ship was heading Wednesday to Kenya under U.S. Navy escort, officials said.

None of the crew was injured during the attack, but the New York based ship was damaged, officials from Liberty Maritime Corporation of Lake Success said in a statement.

The attack on the Liberty Sun occurred about 300 miles off the coast of Somalia at about 11:30 a.m., U.S. officials told NBC News.

"The pirates pretty much shot up the bridge, but no one was hurt," according to one source.

The crew immediately requested assistance from the Navy, which dispatched forces that were able to thwart the pirates. Navy spokesman Captain Jack Hanzlik said the USS Bainbridge, a destroyer, had arrived to the scene at 5:30 p.m. and that the pirates had left.

The Associated Press reported that despite President Barack Obama's vow to halt their attacks, and the deaths of five pirates in recent French and U.S. hostage rescue missions, pirates seized four vessels and over 75 hostages off the Horn of Africa since Sunday's rescue of an American freighter captain.

This is a developing story with more to follow.

(Report from commercial news sources.)

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