Pirate ships converge on US hostage at sea
Apr 10, 7:26 AM (ET)
By KATHARINE HOURELD and MALKHADIR M. MUHUMED
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Escalating a dramatic Indian Ocean standoff, more U.S. warships - as well as pirate reinforcements with an international gallery of hostages - rushed Friday toward the spot where four Somali bandits are holding a U.S. sea captain aboard a drifting lifeboat.
The pirates apparently fear being shot or arrested if they hand over Capt. Richard Phillips - captured in a failed effort to seize the Maersk Alabama on Wednesday - and hope to link up with their colleagues who are using Russian, German, Filipino and other hostages captured in recent days as human shields.
U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus said U.S. warships also are headed to the area, more than 300 miles (480 kilometers) off Somalia's Indian Ocean coast.