U.S. Navy Pulls Another 'Captain Phillips'

Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi starred in the film Captain Phillips. Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi starred in the film Captain Phillips. Eric Charbonneau/AP

Tom Hanks could have some competition.

U.S. Navy SEALs have taken control of an oil tanker near Cyprus that was hijacked earlier this month by three armed Libyans, said Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby on Monday.

"The boarding operation, approved by President Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cypress [sic], was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe," Kirby said, adding that the Libyan and Cypriot governments requested U.S. assistance.

The seized tanker, called the Morning Glory, is carrying oil owned by the Libyan government's National Oil Co. Kirby said the ship and its cargo were "illicitly obtained" from the Libyan port of As-Sidra.

The Libyan government has been dealing with nearly continuous violence and upheaval for approximately three years since the country's civil war in 2011.

And it's not the first time the Navy has been called in to help with a hijacked ship. A 2009 rescue of a ship seized by Somali pirates caught Hollywood's attention, culminating in an Oscar nomination for the film—Captain Phillips—which featured Hanks.

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