Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Second American Ship Attacked, Escapes Capture

Just days after the Somali pirates vowed revenge for the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in which three of their fellow terrorists were killed, a second American cargo ship carrying food supplies to Kenya was attacked. Via CNN:
CNN) -- The Liberty Sun, a U.S.-flagged cargo ship bound for Mombasa, Kenya, was attacked Tuesday night by Somali pirates, according to the company and senior U.S. military officials.
Pirates attacked The Liberty Sun, a U.S.-flagged cargo ship, but were unable to board.

"The pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at the vessel, which sustained damage," said a statement from New York-based Liberty Maritime Corporation, which owns the vessel.

The ship is carrying U.S. food aid for African nations, the statement said. About 20 U.S. citizens are aboard the Liberty Sun, delivering humanitarian supplies from the U.N. World Food Programme, CARE and other groups, two senior defense officials told CNN.

The pirates never made it onto the ship and the vessel is now being escorted by a coalition ship, still bound for Mombasa, officials said.

Two senior defense officials said the Liberty Sun was being escorted by the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge. It is the ship carrying Richard Phillips, the captain of the container ship Maersk Alabama, which was hijacked last week. Phillips spent days as a hostage of the pirates before being rescued Sunday.

Thankfully this attack was thwarted by the nearby presence of the Bainbridge. Four other ships were hijacked yesterday: the MV Irene, with 23 crewmembers, the MV Sea Horse, and 2 Egyptian fishing boats with a total of 24 crewmembers. The Italian tugboat the Buccaneer, with 16 crewmembers, was hijacked Saturday.

Please continue to pray for the protection and rescue of these kidnapped crewmembers, and for the safety of all those who sail in this dangerous part of the world.

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