US Captain Rescued, Three Somalia Pirates Killed

Relatives Say Pirates Were Out of Ammo, Trying to Trade Captain

This evening, US Navy forces shot and killed three Somali pirates who had been holding the captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips, for days. Phillips was reportedly unharmed and is safely aboard the USS Boxer. The Navy insists the pirates were killed after they decided Phillips’ life was in “imminent danger.”

Yet, accord to relatives of the pirates, they were out of ammo at the time of attack and were attempting to trade the captain’s life for their own freedom.”They were trying to save their own lives,” one insisted, “the only thing they could bargain with was the captain, but the Americans would not accept.”

The pirates had attempted to seize the Alabama on Wednesday, briefly gaining control of the ship before being fended off by the crew and escaping with the captain. Captain Phillips then spent the next several days on the lifeboat, trying to flee unsuccessfully on Friday. The pirates reportedly had demanded $2 million for the captain’s release.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.