Four Americans hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman have been killed by their captors, US defence officials say.
The US military said its forces trailing the vessel had responded to gunfire heard aboard but found all the captives shot when they arrived.
The yacht S/V Quest, hijacked on Friday, was owned and sailed by Scott and Jean Adam of California.
Also killed were two US passengers, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle.
Ship owners Jean and Scott Adam and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle were found shot after U.S. forces boarded the vessel about 1 a.m. ET, officials said.
The forces responded after a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a U.S. Navy ship about 600 yards away and missed and the sound of gunfire could be heard on board the Quest, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mark Fox said.