The captain of an US cargo vessel taken hostage off Somalia has been freed and three of the pirates who were holding him killed and one captured.
Captain Richard Phillips is said to be uninjured, in good condition and on board a US Navy ship, the destroyer USS Bainbridge.
One report - quoting an intelligence source – said three of the pirates were shot by US forces after Captain Phillips jumped out of the lifeboat in which he was being held. The fourth pirate was on board the USS Bainbridge for a negotiating session.
Captain Phillips had exchanged himself for his vessel
the Maersk Alabama being allowed to leave the area.
Members of the Alabama’s crew expressed joy when they were told.
But elsewhere, sixteen people including 10 Italians became the latest victims of Somali piracy after a tug boat was seized in the Gulf of Aden.
Meanwhile, four hostages including a child have arrived back in Paris after being freed by French security forces.
Their yacht, the Tanit, was captured more than a week ago.
The ship’s skipper, Florent Lemacon, was killed during a raid by French commandos along with two of the hijackers.
In all, more than 270 people are presently being held by pirates in the region.
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