Xan Rice and Matthew Weaver
The Guardian
April 10, 2009

[efoods]Stranded Somali pirates holding an American hostage in the Indian Ocean under the gaze of a US destroyer vowed today to fight if they are attacked.

The US navy last night called in a team of FBI negotiators and moved the USS Bainbridge into position to try to secure the release of Richard Phillips, who was being held by four Somali gunmen in a lifeboat some 300 miles off the Horn of Africa. But despite an apparently hopeless position, the pirates showed no signs of giving in.

“We are safe and we are not afraid of the Americans,” one of the pirates told Reuters by satellite phone. “We will defend ourselves if attacked.”

The statement intensifies the confrontation between the pirates and the world’s greatest military power as more American warships make their way to the stand-off.

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