New York, Apr.13 (ANI): Navy Seals killed three Somali pirates and rescued an American ship captain in a daring operation in the Indian Ocean on Sunday.
The encounter ended a five-day hostage standoff between United States naval forces and a small band of brigands in a covered orange lifeboat off the Horn of Africa, reports the New York Times.
Acting on President Obama's authorization and in the belief that Captain Richard Phillips was in imminent danger of being killed by his captors, the Navy Seals opened fire and picked off the three captors who were on the fantail of the destroyer Bainbridge.
Two of the captors had poked their heads out of a rear hatch of the lifeboat, exposing themselves to clear shots, and the third could be seen through a window in the bow, pointing an automatic rifle at the captain, who was tied up inside the 18-foot lifeboat, senior Navy officials said.
It took only three remarkable shots - one each by snipers firing from a distance at dusk, using night-vision scopes, the officials said. Within minutes, members of the Special Forces slid down ropes from the Bainbridge, climbed aboard the lifeboat and found the three pirates dead. They then untied Captain Phillips, ending the contretemps at sea that had riveted much of the world's attention. A fourth pirate had surrendered earlier.
Shortly after his rescue, Captain Phillips was taken aboard the Bainbridge, underwent a medical exam and was found to be in relatively good condition for a 53-year-old seafarer who had been held since Wednesday by pirates who had demanded two million dollars for his life. (ANI)