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Long IslandNassau

Pirates: Attack on LI-owned ship just the first

Somali pirates vowed to hunt down Americanships and kill their sailors and French forces detained 11 otherbrigands in a high-seas raid as tensions ratcheted up Wednesday offAfrica's volatile eastern coast.

Pirates fired grenades and automatic weapons at an Americanfreighter loaded with food aid but the ship escaped and was headingto Kenya under U.S. Navy guard.

- Click here to see photos of the pirate attacks on the Liberty Sun and the Maersk Alabama

The Liberty Sun's American crew successfully blockadedthemselves inside the engine room -- the same tactic that the MaerskAlabama crew used to thwart last week's attack on their ship. Theywere not injured in the attack Tuesday night but the vesselsustained some damage, owner Liberty Maritime Corp. said.

One of the pirates whose gang attacked the Liberty Sun saidWednesday his group was specifically targeting American ships andsailors.

"We will seek out the Americans and if we capture them we willslaughter them," said a 25-year-old pirate based in the Somaliport of Harardhere who gave only his first name, Ismail.

"We will target their ships because we know their flags. Lastnight, an American-flagged ship escaped us by a whisker. We haveshowered them with rocket-propelled grenades," boasted Ismail, whodid not take part in the attack.

- Click here to see photos of the pirate attacks on the Liberty Sun and the Maersk Alabama

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