Somali pirates holding an American ship captain hostage in the Indian Ocean have vowed to fight back if US Navy warships attack them.
The pirates are holding Captain Richard Phillips hostage in a lifeboat around 300 miles east of the Somalian capital, Mogadishu.
They attacked his freighter, the Maersk Alabama, as it carried food aid for Somalia and Uganda to Mombasa in Kenya.
The crew of 20 Americans managed to retake control of the Danish-operated vessel and have been trying to negotiate their captain’s release.
The US has sent ships, including the destroyer USS Bainbridge, to line up against the pirates.
The Bainbridge, accompanied by a P-3 Orion surveillance plane, has prevented the pirates from moving their hostage to a larger ship.
The Navy also called in the FBI to “assist with negotiations” with the pirates.
“We are not afraid of the Americans,” one of the pirates told reporters by satellite phone.