Four American hostages killed by Somali pirates during rescue attempt


SAN DIEGO — Four Americans, including a couple from Southern California,
who were taken hostage by Somali pirates were fatally wounded by their
captors while negotiations between the pirates and U.S. military forces
were under way in the Gulf of Aden, U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.

The four were aboard the vessel Quest, which was captured last week.

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

Four U.S. Navy ships had been shadowing the Quest
after it was taken over by the pirates, Mattis said. While negotiations
were under way to gain the release of the Americans, U.S. forces
responded to gunfire aboard the Quest. The four Americans had been
shot, Mattis said.

Two of the pirates were killed by U.S. forces and 13
captured, Mattis said. After boarding the Quest, military personnel
found the bodies of two other pirates. The incident occurred about 1 a.m. EST.

“Despite immediate steps to provide lifesaving care,
all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds,” according to a
statement from Central Command.

The four Americans also included a couple from the Seattle area.


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