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World Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2011 - 18:44:59

Somali Pirates Kill Four Hostages
Caroline Lorraine
Feb 22, 2011, 12:19

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Somali pirates have killed four hostages according to a statement by the U.S. Central Command on Tuesday.  The hostages were killed aboard a hijacked yacht.

The yacht, named Quest, was taken over by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman on Friday. The hostages included Americans Jean and Scott Adam along with Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle.

The pirates attacked the yacht during the Blue Water Rally which departed from Phuket, Thailand.  According to reports, Quest broke off from the rest of the vessels in order to take a different route.  

Authorities said negotiations were ongoing with the pirates for the hostages' release when they heard gunfire.

"As (U.S. forces) responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors," the statement said. "Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds."

Three pirates were also killed and one was arrested.

Forces had been monitoring the Quest for three days after it was captured, officials said.

Piracy has been a constant off the coast of Somalia with numerous vessels being seized in recent years.

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