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Seven Somali men get prison sentences for piracy convictions

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Officials say the men were arrested in 2009
  • The suspects are prosecuted in Kenya
  • European Union anti-piracy naval operation launched in 2008
  • Pirates
  • Somalia

(CNN) -- Seven Somali men were convicted in a Kenyan court and sentenced to five years in prison for hijacking a Spanish ship, the European Union Naval Force Somalia said Friday.

The hijacking occurred in May 2009 on a vessel in waters near the Gulf of Aden.

A crew member on the vessel was able to call a warship for help, according to the naval force.

The seven men were apprehended and transferred to Kenya to be prosecuted, the force said.

The European Union naval operation was launched in 2008 to tackle the outbreak of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, an important shipping corridor for food aid delivery and other maritime transport.