NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - The suspected Somali pirates who opened fire on a U.S. Navy warship off East Africa today may have been seeking a ransom.
The U.S.S. Nicholas returned fire, sinking the pirates' skiff, confiscating a mother ship and taking five pirates into custody west of Seychelles.
The Nicholas is a guided missile frigate -- just the latest international naval vessel targeted by pirates. A piracy expert says French and Dutch vessels have also been fired upon, saying its possible the pirates simply see a big ship they think is worth money and don't know quite what they're shooting at.
Naval forces have been ramping up patrols off East Africa in a bid to cut off a growing pirate threat.
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