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Rescued American Ship Captain Arrives in Kenya


The American ship captain held hostage by pirates for days off the coast of Somalia arrived safely in the Kenyan port of Mombassa Thursday.

Richard Phillips was aboard the USS Bainbridge, the ship that rescued him on Sunday when Navy sharpshooters shot three of his pirate captors.

He just missed reuniting with his crew, who arrived back home in the U.S. hours earlier. The USS Bainbridge diverted to respond to a distress signal from the U.S. cargo ship Liberty Sun, the second American ship attacked by Somali pirates in a week.

The crew of the Liberty Sun successfully warded off the attack and arrived safely in Kenya with the ships' supply of food aid Wednesday.

Responding to the spate of recent attacks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged new efforts to track down and freeze the assets of Somali pirates.

Clinton says pirates are using ransom money from hijacking ships to buy increasingly sophisticated weapons. She says the U.S. needs to track the money like it does with drug traffickers and terrorist groups.

Another 11 pirates were captured by a French military ship on Wednesday off the coast of Kenya. French officials said they followed the pirates after helping stop an attack on a Liberian-registered vessel.

Various pirate groups are now holding at least 16 ships with more than 250 crew members.

The U.S., China and other countries have been conducting naval patrols off Somalia in an effort to stem the hijackings.

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