September 29, 2008

Pirates Seek $20 Million to Free Ship

As a U.S. destroyer patrolled nearby and planes flew overhead Sunday, a Somali pirate spokesman said his group was demanding a $20 million ransom to release a cargo ship loaded with Russian tanks. He warned that the pirates would fight to the death if any country tried military action.

- The Associated Press

death reported

A man who said he is the ship's captain reported that one crew member died Sunday because of hypertension. "The rest of us are feeling well," a man who identified himself as Viktor Nikolsky said.

keeping watch

The San Diego-based guided missile destroyer Howard was off Somalia on Sunday, making sure the pirates did not remove the 33 Russian-built tanks, ammunition and other heavy weapons from the ship. The Americans appeared to be keeping an eye on the ship until a Russian missile frigate could arrive.

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