Somali pirates: Do shootings of four Americans point to armed escalation?

posted by
February 22, 2011
The Christian Science Monitor    
Posted in PND News

"Four Americans taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean were killed by their captors early Tuesday while US Navy forces were attempting to negotiate their release, according to the US military. The tragedy marked the first time that US citizens have died at the hands of pirates, who in recent years have swarmed over ships in the region. It occurred only days after a US federal judge sentenced a captured Somali pirate to 34 years in prison – a stiff penalty meant to deter armed maritime attacks. It’s unclear exactly why the pirates would have shot their hostages, since US forces were so close, says Jennifer Cooke, head of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. In essence, the four captured US boaters were all that stood between the Somalis and US guns." (02/22/11)

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