Somali pirates unsuccessfully tried to hijack another U.S. cargo ship on Tuesday afternoon.
CNN reports that the pirates attacked The Liberty Sun while it was bringing food aid to Mombasa, Kenya. It was being escorted by the USS Bainbridge at the time, where Capt. Richard Phillips was on board. He was rescued by the Bainbridge Sunday after being held hostage by Somali pirates for five days.
New York-based Liberty Maritime Corporation, which owns The Liberty Sun, issued a statement saying, "The pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at the vessel, which sustained damage.”
Thomas Urbik, a Liberty Sun crewmember, sent his mother an e-mail notifying her the ship had been hit. "We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets. Also bullets," he wrote. "We are barricaded in the engine room and so far no one is hurt. [A] rocket penetrated the bulkhead but the hole is small. Small fire, too, but put out."
Pirates had vowed to strike back at the U.S. after Capt. Richard was rescued; Tuesday’s attack made good on that promise. Thankfully, the hijackers never made it aboard the Liberty Sun.
"It was a revenge. The U.S. ship escaped by a matter of chance” pirate leader Hassan Mohamud told a Somali journalist, CNN reports. "We sent out 14 boats full of well-armed men, and we are looking for vessels of U.S. and French nationals. …The U.S. and French governments should know this because they started the aggression on us."
This was third attack on American Vessel in two days. On Monday, Somali insurgents fired mortar rounds at an airplane carrying a U.S. congressman. No on board the plane was hurt, but the attack killed five civilians on the ground.
— Sonya Eskridge
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