- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command is warning that the successful rescue of an American captain held by Somali pirates could escalate violence in that part of the world.

In rescuing the captain of the American ship Maersk Alabama, Navy SEALs killed three of the four pirates who had been holding Capt. Richard Phillips in a lifeboat. All were shot by snipers aboard the USS Bainbridge.

Navy Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said at a news conference Sunday that the rescue ending in the pirates’ deaths will likely have a ripple effect.

While piracy is common off the coast of Somalia, crews have seldom been harmed.

In Gortney’s words, “This could escalate violence in this part of the world, no question about it.”

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