updated 4/16/2006 7:52:31 AM ET 2006-04-16T11:52:31

A Dutch and two U.S. warships set sail toward the Yemeni coast Sunday to aid a U.S.-flagged sailboat under attack by pirates, the Italian port authority said.

The sailboat, identified as the Tir Na Nog with three people aboard, was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, 50 miles off the Yemeni coast, said Massimo Maccheroni, spokesman for the Italian port authority.

He said Italian officials alerted U.S. and Yemeni authorities after being contacted by an Italian ship in the area.

No further details were immediately available.

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