11 Somali Pirates appear in U.S Court

Published: April 23, 2010

Eleven Somalis accused of firing on US warships off the Horn of Africa were today brought before a court in Virginia and indicted on charges of piracy.
The suspects were led into the federal courthouse under heavy security.
One of the accused had a bandaged head, while another was carried into the court building in Norfolk.
In addition to the piracy count, the charges include attacks to plunder a vessel, assault with a dangerous weapon, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
The suspects were taken from the USS Nassau amphibious assault ship off the African coast and flown to Norfolk, Virginia, where they are expected to stand trial.
The 11 are alleged to have fired on two US warships in two separate clashes in the pirate-ridden shipping lanes off the Somali coast.
Five were reportedly captured after the USS Nicholas was attacked by a pirate ship on March 31 and the other six were taken into custody when a pirate ship fired on the USS Ashland on April 10.
In both cases, the US Navy destroyed the pirates’ skiff. In the March 31 incident, the USS Nicholas also seized the pirates’ “mother ship” from which they operated far out at sea.

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