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Friday, April 23, 2010

US Indicts 11 Alleged Pirates from Somalia

Eleven suspected pirates from Somalia have been indicted in a U.S. court for attacks on two U.S. Navy ships off the east coast of Africa.
The indictment was unsealed Friday in the city of Norfolk, in the state of Virginia. The pirates, who were taken into U.S. custody and flown to the United States, are expected to appear in federal court Friday.

The charges include piracy, attacks to plunder a vessel, assault with a dangerous weapon and use of a firearm in a crime.Five of the men were captured March 31 after an exchange of fire with the frigate USS Nicholas, while the six others were seized after shooting at the USS Ashland earlier this month.

Piracy is a major problem off the coast of Somalia, with gangs of pirates recently stepping up attacks in the waters, despite the presence of dozens of naval vessels in the area.Somali pirates have hijacked more than 20 ships since the beginning of March and are holding more than 200 crew members hostage.

Source: VOAnews


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