Seychelles jails five Somalis for piracy

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The Seychelles sentenced five Somalis to 18 years in prison for attacking two French fishing boats in the Indian Ocean in November.

The country's supreme court handed down the sentences Thursday for the men caught after a failed attack on the two vessels, the Cap Sainte-Marie and the Talenduic, on November 17, 2010 between the Seychelles and Madagascar.

Presiding judge Ducan Gaswaga said the prosecutor had proved that the five were behind the ambush and that pictures taken by surveillance planes placed them at the scene of attack.

Rampant attacks by Somali pirates have affected the Seychelles, whose economy depends mainly on fishing and tourism.

Since signing a deal last year with the European Union and other powers to prosecute pirates detained at sea, the Indian Ocean nation has so far sentenced 25 Somalis to lengthy jail terms.

© 2011 AFP

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