U.N. Worried Piracies Will Lead To Starvation

MOMBASA, Kenya — The problem of Somali pirates is a concern to the shipping industry as well as a U.N. agency that provides humanitarian assistance.

Officials note that the pirate hijackings may hurt chaotic Somalia even more, because some of the ships carried aid destined for the destitute nation.

So far this year, Somali pirates have attacked 79 ships and hijacked 19. They still hold 17 vessels with more than 300 hostages from several countries.

Another American ship was fired on today, but avoided being hijacked. The Liberty Sun was carrying humanitarian aid, some intended for Somalia.

Spokesman Peter Smerdon of the U.N. World Food Program says the WFP worries that people will go hungry.

An international flotilla of warships is in the region but the area is so vast they can’t stop all hijackings.