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Kenyan Court Sentences 7 Somali Pirates

A Kenyan court has sentenced seven Somali pirates each to five years in jail.

The court in Mombasa found the pirates guilty of attacking a German naval supply ship in the Gulf of Aden last year. They were detained by European naval forces after firing on the German ship, the FGS Spessart, off the Somali coast in March 2009.

The ship returned fire and chased down the pirates with the help of other vessels in the EU mission. The pirates were held on a German frigate and later handed over to Kenyan authorities.

The European Union's anti-piracy mission for Somalia welcomes the court's decision, which came Monday.

Pirates based on Somalia's east coast have been hijacking ships for several years, usually for ransom.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently said 139 piracy-related incidents have occurred off Somalia since early this year. He said 30 ships have been hijacked.

Mr. Ban has proposed several options to combat the piracy, including setting up an international tribunal.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.