- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

UNDERHILL, VT. (AP) - The hometown of hostage sea captain Richard Phillips is rejoicing at his release on Easter Sunday.

Phillips’ family isn’t commenting on the news that he was freed unharmed in a swift firefight that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had captured him.

But a spokeswoman for the Maersk (mersk) shipping company read a statement to reporters on the family’s behalf saying that the nation’s prayers and good wishes have paid off.

Convenience store clerk Nickie Tinker says Phillips’ release “couldn’t have happened on a better day _ Easter.”

Neighbor Terry Aiken fought back tears as he reacted to the news and says he couldn’t be happier for Phillips and his family.

Phillips’ hometown of Underhill is about 35 miles northwest of Montpelier.

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