There have been four failed pirate attacks in the last 24 hours off the Somali coast despite the presence of six American warships guarding a hijacked ship full of weapons, a U.S. Navy spokeswoman said.
Cmdr. Jane Campbell, with the 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said three attacks were averted because the vessels escaped at high speed. Another attack was foiled because the pirates were badly prepared: The ladder they had brought to climb onto the ship was too short.
The seizure late last month of a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 tanks and weapons has focused international attention on piracy off Somalia. U.S. officials have expressed fears the weapons could fall into the hands of Somalia's Islamic insurgency.