By United Nations
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22 February - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced horror at the reported killing of four United States hostages on a yacht held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

According to media reports, the pirates shot the four on a private yacht which they had hijacked south of Oman on Friday. The US military said the pirates shot the four before American special forces boarded the vessel, killing two pirates and taking 15 others into custody.

“The Secretary-General is appalled by the reported killing of four American hostages on a yacht off the coast of Somalia,” Mr. Ban's spokesman said. “He reiterates that piracy off the coast of Somalia is

unacceptable and welcomes the ongoing efforts of the international community to stamp it out and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Ban formally launched an action plan at the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London to combat piracy, calling for greater coordination with navies off Somalia, where the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and UN Member States are already patrolling the dangerous waters.

“More needs to be done,” he said then. “We need to move beyond the impressive deterrence efforts, and to make sure that they are carried out in concert with the other elements of the strategy on land. We need to support alternative livelihoods and the rehabilitation of coastal fisheries” to give would-be pirates an alternative source of income.