Freed US captain arrives in Kenya

April 16, 2009 12:00 am

, MOMBASA, Apr 16 – The US skipper held hostage by Somali pirates for five days before being dramatically freed by the navy arrived in the Kenyan port of Mombasa on Thursday aboard the warship behind his rescue.

Mombasa port police commander Ayub Gitonga confirmed Captain Richard Phillips was on the USS Bainbridge along with a fourth pirate who survived the rescue operation in which three of his colleagues were killed by snipers.

Asked whether the surviving pirate would be tried in Kenya, Gitonga said: "The decision is yet to be made."

Aided by good weather, Somali pirates have intensified attacks off the lawless country’s coast in recent days, with at least 10 ships seized since the beginning of this month despite the presence of an anti-piracy naval force.

Somali pirates attacked more than 130 ships in 2008 and hijacked close to 50, raking in millions of dollars in ransom money and rattling the global shipping industry. They currently hold at least 17 vessels.


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