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Rescued American Hostage Heads Home


American ship captain Richard Phillips boarded a plane in Kenya early Friday and headed home after surviving his five-day ordeal in a lifeboat with pirates off the coast of Somalia.

His Vermont hometown planned a hero's welcome.

In Somalia, Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said his government has information about the pirates and could go after them with help from the international community.

Mr. Sharmarke told the Associated Press he would have a proposal on fighting pirates ready next week for an international conference focused on Somalia.

But Somalia's government only controls a small territory around the capital, Mogadishu, with the help of international peacekeepers, and donor countries have been wary to fund them.

On Thursday, U.S. officials told U.S. news organizations (CBS and AP) the captured Somali pirate who held Phillips hostage would be tried in the United States. France also said it plans to turn 11 captured pirates over to Kenyan authorities.

Nearly a dozen countries are running naval patrols off Somalia to combat pirates who have hijacked some 60 ships since the start of 2008.

Japan says it is sending two planes and 150 personnel to aid two ships currently escorting Japanese commercial vessels.

The United Nations says pirates are currently holding 17 hijacked vessels and about 300 hostages.

In some past cases, ship owners have paid pirates more than $1 million for the release of ships and crews. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the U.S. should track this money, as it does with terrorists and drug traffickers.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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