US Says Pirates Killed 4 American Hostages

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Americans lives have been lost in an attack by Somali pirates for the first time.

Negotiations were under way when U.S. Navy forces heard gunfire from a hijacked American yacht off the coast of East Africa today.

The U.S. military says a special operations force quickly boarded the Quest to find the four Americans had been shot. And while the troops tried to treat the wounds, all four hostages died.

Vice Adm. Mark Fox identifies them as Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, California, and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle of Seattle Washington. The Adams had been living on the yacht, sailing around the world handing out bibles since December 2004.

The incident ended with four of the pirates dead. Two were killed in a battle with the special forces troops, while two others were found already dead. Thirteen others were captured.

The White House says President Barack Obama was notified about the deaths early this morning. He had authorized the military to use force in case of an imminent threat to the hostages.

It's unclear what triggered the initial shots.

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