- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Administration officials say President Barack Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain held hostage by Somali pirates.

The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.

The officials discussed this information on the condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to disclose the president’s decision-making process.

Obama praised the captain for his bravery and courage. The president also said the United States needs help from other countries to deal with the threat of piracy and to hold pirates accountable.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama says the captain who survived capture by Somali pirates has courage that is “a model for all Americans.”

Obama says he’s pleased that Capt. Richard Phillips has been rescued and is on board a Navy ship. Obama says Phillips’ safety was his main concern after being held hostage aboard a lifeboat.

Obama says he is proud of the U.S. military and other agencies that worked to free Phillips. The president says the United States needs help from other countries to deal with the threat of piracy and to hold pirates accountable.

The president praised Phillips for his bravery, courage and selfless concern for his crew.

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