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Somali pirates

By United Press International   |   Nov. 18, 2009 at 8:51 AM
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A U.S.-flagged ship was attacked by pirates Wednesday, seven months after the same vessel was boarded by hijackers off the coast of Somalia.

However, unlike the first assault, Wednesday's attack was thwarted by armed guards aboard the MV Maersk Alabama. No injuries were reported in the incident and patrol aircraft were searching for the pirates' boats.

The Maersk Alabama, a 17,000-ton container ship, was boarded by pirates April 8. Although action by the crew kept the ship out of the pirates' control and the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, offered himself as a hostage to protect his crew.

Phillips was held in a lifeboat by four pirates for several days before snipers aboard a U.S. Navy ship monitoring the situation killed three of the hijackers and Phillips was rescued unharmed.