Spanish navy delivers suspected pirates to Seychelles
The Spanish navy on Saturday handed over 11 suspected pirates to authorities in the Seychelles, four days after they were arrested while allegedly pursuing a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, Spain's defence ministry said.
The Spanish frigate "Canarias" detained the suspects early on Tuesday aboard two boats after a Seychelles-registered fishing vessel alerted the Spanish naval operations centre that it was being pursued by pirates.
The "Canarias", part of the European Union's Atalante anti-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean, delivered the suspects to the Seychelles following a formal complaint against them by the fishing boat's Spanish owners, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The international community is facing difficulties in prosecuting the growing number of pirates off Somalia, a lawless, war-torn country that sits alongside one of the world's most important shipping routes.
Two Somali men are currently on trial in Spain over the hijacking of a Spanish fishing boat in 2009.
© 2011 AFP