US navy hands nine Somali pirates to Kenya

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The US navy on Tuesday handed Kenyan authorities nine Somali pirates they captured in the Gulf of Aden last month while attempting to hijack a German vessel, police said.

The nine men boarded Antigua-Barbuda flagged, German-owned MV Magellan Star on September 8 and spent nearly 20 hours searching for the crew who had locked themselves up in a secure room.

"We have detained the suspects at our Port Police Station and we shall take them to court tomorrow (Wednesday) to answer charges of piracy," said Leonard Nyongesa, the police commander of Kenya's coastal Mombasa region.

The US naval officers also handed over five rifles, which included three AK-47s and several rounds of ammunition they seized from the pirates.

Kenyan courts in Mombasa have sentenced at least 25 Somali pirates to prison since early September, while hundreds others are still awaiting trial.

© 2010 AFP

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