(WASHINGTON) -- Four Americans taken captive by pirates on their yacht off Somalia have been killed.
Jean and Scott Adam, of California, were sailing the world on a Christian mission to distribute bibles when their yacht, the 58-foot S/V Quest, was ambushed by pirates in the notoriously dangerous waters nearly 300 miles off the Somali coast. With the Adams was another couple – Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle, of Washington State.
U.S. forces boarded the Quest on Tuesday after hearing shots fired on board. All four Americans were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
"We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest," said Gen James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander.
Two pirates were killed by U.S. forces during Tuesday's raid; another two were found dead onboard. Thirteen pirates were captured. U.S. Central Command believes a total of 19 pirates were involved in the yacht’s hijacking.
As the group approached the waters off the Horn of Africa, they cut back using their radios and satellite systems so their location couldn’t be tracked by pirates, but they were still found.
U.S. forces had been monitoring the pirated yacht by air and sea for nearly three days since its capture.
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