As US forces negotiated the release of four Americans captured while yachting in the Arabian Sea, Somali pirates shot and killed them today. The incident raises questions about the new military approach to piracy.
Owners of a Greek-flagged oil tanker dropped a record ransom payment of $5.5 million to $7 million on the deck of the ship today, prompting Somali pirates to release the Maran Centaurus.
Escalation of violence could lead pirate gangs to join radical militants, including those with ties to Al Qaeda, say analysts.
As attacks continue, experts consider whether deadly force would be an effective deterrent.