4 Americans killed by Somali pirates: US

Two Somali pirates were also killed in the incident, a violent ending to one of a raft of hostage-takings on the lawless waters near the Gulf of Aden which often are resolved through ransom payments.

Jean and Scott Adam, a retired couple active in missionary work, had been sailing the world on the S/V Quest yacht for more than seven years and had planned to take in sites from India to Djibouti to Crete on their latest trip.

US warships, which had been closely monitoring the S/V Quest since it emerged three days ago that it had been seized by pirates, approached the vessel after hearing gunfire, the US Central Command said.

After boarding the yacht, “the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds,” a statement said.

“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said General James N Mattis, the head of US Central Command.

US forces engaged in a firefight with the pirates, leaving two of them dead, the military said. Another 13 pirates were captured, along with two who were already in custody, it said.
The US Navy had sent four warships to seek to free the hostages.

The Adams couple had kept a blog on their movements on their latest trip, which started in early January in the Thai resort of Phuket.

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