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Dec. 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM   |   Comments

22 hostages freed from Somali pirates

GALKAYO, Somalia, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Twenty-two people held hostage by Somali pirates for 33 months were rescued by Puntland state military forces Sunday, state officials said.

Garowe Online reported the hostages were freed after a two-week standoff between the pirates holding the Panama-flagged cargo ship MV Iceberg 1 off the coast of Puntland's Mudug region.

"After two years and 9 months in captivity, the hostages have suffered signs of physical torture and illness," a government release announcing the rescue said. "The hostages are now receiving nutrition and medical care."

The release did not provide details of the rescue operation, the news website said.

The Puntland Maritime Police Force had attacked the pirates on Dec. 10. The military killed three pirates and arrested three others as they tried to bring more weapons and ammunition to their comrades in Gaar'ad village days later.


Sen. Crapo arrested on DUI charge

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Sen. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, was arrested on a drunken driving charge early Sunday in Alexandria, Va., and later issued an apology.

City police spokesman Jody Donaldson said Crapo, 61, posted a $1,000 unsecured bond and faces a Jan. 4 court date, the Washington publication Roll Call reported.

Police said an officer witnessed Crapo run a red light and pulled him over at 12:45 a.m. Crapo allegedly failed several field sobriety tests and was arrested.

The three-term senator, who previously served three terms in the U.S. House, issued an apology Sunday evening.

"I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance," he said. "I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter. I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated."


2 boat-building school students missing

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Two Maine boat-building school students were still missing Sunday, nearly four days after they were last seen drinking with friends, police said.

Zachary Wells, 21, and Prescott Wright, 23, students at Landing Boat School in Kennebunkport, were last seen about midnight Thursday, SeacoastOnline.com reported. They had been socializing with a few friends, police told the news website.

Wells is described as white, 5-foot-8, about 150 pounds, with black hair, hazel eyes and a surgical scar on his neck. Wright is described as a white,6-foot-4, about 200 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes.

Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig Sanford said a resident of the home went to bed and some of the other friends left for the evening. The pair disappeared sometime before 4 a.m. when a resident of the home noticed they were gone, and they didn't show up for classes Thursday or Friday.

"We have no idea how they left, or why," Sanford said. "The whole thing is perplexing to us.

"We currently do not have hard facts to support the men going into the water at this time. Because of the residence being in close proximity to the water, we felt it prudent to ask for the search of that area."

The chief said the men may have been intoxicated. No vehicles were missing from the residence and no foul play was suspected, he said.


2 killed in Florida market shooting

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Two masked men held up a market in Delray Beach, Fla., Sunday, shooting two customers to death in the process, police said.

The robbery and shootings occurred about 6 a.m. EST at the Community Market, The Palm Beach Post reported

The robbers, wearing bandannas over their faces, opened fire with semiautomatic handguns when they entered the store. Witnesses told police the men pistol-whipped an employee then took money from the cash register.

Police said there was a similar-style robbery two blocks away Saturday night, the Post said.

Their behavior was "strikingly similar" to a Saturday night robbery less than two blocks away, police said.

The victims' names had not been released.

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