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MOMBASA, Kenya - U.S. Navy snipers opened fire and killed three pirates holding an American captain at gunpoint in a lifeboat, delivering the skipper unharmed and ending a five-day high-seas hostage drama on Easter Sunday.

The pirates were pointing AK-47s at Capt. Richard Phillips and he was in "imminent danger" of being killed when the commander of the nearby USS Bainbridge made the split-second decision to order his men to shoot, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said.

Phillips' crew, who said they had escaped the pirates after he offered himself as a hostage, erupted in cheers aboard their ship in Mombasa, Kenya. Some waved an American flag and fired flares in celebration. A lawn sign in the captain's hometown of Underhill, Vermont that read "Pray for Captain Phillips' release and safe return home" was changed to read, "Capt. Phillips rescued and safe."

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet said Phillips, 53, was resting comfortably after a medical exam on the San Diego-based USS Boxer in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. Gortney said the captain had been "tied up inside the lifeboat" over much of the ordeal.

"I'm just the byline. The real heroes are the Navy, the Seals, those who have brought me home," Phillips said by phone to Maersk Line Limited President and CEO John Reinhart, the company head told reporters. A photo released by the Navy showed Phillips unharmed and shaking hands with the commanding officer of the USS Bainbridge.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090412/ap_on_re_af/piracy;_ylt=AgOLUIhqCbQz4rkFfmPJ_hms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTI3dWJtbXI4BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNDEyL3BpcmFjeQRjcG9zAzEEcG9zAzIEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yeQRzbGsDdXNzaGlwY2FwdGFp
 

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I applaud the decision of the commander and the actions of the Seals.   This was a very positive decision long overdue!   I sincerely hope however, that there are not reprocussions to this action.  
 

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Johnc said:
I applaud the decision of the commander and the actions of the Seals. This was a very positive decision long overdue! I sincerely hope however, that there are not reprocussions to this action.
i dont see that being a problem given they were pirates and their country is constantly (trying) to arrest them
 

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i dont see that being a problem given they were pirates and their country is constantly (trying) to arrest them
I was not referring to their country. I was referring to future acts of aggression by the pirates, or any hostages that they are currently holding.
 

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Time to kick some tail and stand up for what's right.
 

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Johnc said:
I was not referring to their country. I was referring to future acts of aggression by the pirates, or any hostages that they are currently holding.
Johnc, I think you're right, it's what the pirates will do with the hostages they have now, and any they take in the future.
I know a lot of people, not just here on this forum, but everywhere I go, that say just blow the pirates out of the water. I'm all for it, the problem lies in the amount of ocean you need to cover. As far as their country, there is no real Somali government, it's a lawless wasteland.
 

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There should be a shoot to kill policy on all pirates that seem to be taking action on a ship.... but there is a lot of water out there even if they try to "crack down " where do they start
*thats only given there is no hostages on board!*
 

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My guess is to station all the million dollar warships off the coast of Somalia, in international waters, within view of the pirates, with all our guns and cannons aimed at them, with a big sign painted on the side of our destroyers

'WANT SOME"
 
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