Somali pirates in court in Rotterdam

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Five Somalis are appearing in court in Rotterdam today charged with piracy. They are accused of attempting to capture a South African yacht and using automatic weapons and rocket launchers against a French naval vessel which came to its aid.

They were eventually overpowered by the crew of the HNLMS Amsterdam, the Dutch navy's rapid combat support ship. The captain of the South African yacht was rescued but two others on board are still missing, presumed kidnapped.

The five suspects have admitted to setting sail in rubber boats to attack shipping off the coast of Somalia. The Public Prosecutor's Office is due to submit its sentencing demand today.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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