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Somali Pirates Approach Twice-Attacked Maersk Alabama

Somali Pirates

Feb. 16: In this image made available by the Ministry of Defence in London, a naval boarding party from HMS Cornwall guard Somali pirates after their dhow was boarded in the Indian Ocean. (AP)

The EU Naval Force says a suspected pirate skiff approached the American ship Maersk Alabama but turned back after a security team onboard fired warning shots.

Wing Cmdr. Paddy O'Kennedy said Wednesday that the Maersk Alabama was approached by a skiff about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Madagascar. No shots were fired by the suspected pirates.

Tuesday's incident was classified as a suspicious approach rather than an attack. The Maersk Alabama has been attacked twice in the past.

In 2009, pirates boarded the ship and took the American captain hostage on a lifeboat for five days before three pirates were shot dead by Navy SEALs.

Guards aboard the Maersk Alabama repelled another pirate attack in November 2009.