[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Kenya convicts Somalis of piracy
Somali men charged with piracy in court in Mombasa, Kenya
The men said that they are fishermen, not pirates
Ten Somalis have been found guilty of piracy and hijacking by a court in the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

The convicted men, who will be sentenced next week, were arrested earlier this year off the Somali coast.

They had maintained they were fisherman and had not held 16 crew members of an Indian ship for ransom.

Somalia's coastline is one of the world's worst areas for piracy, but incidents have declined since the Islamic courts rose to power in June.

Somalia has been in the grip of warlords and militias for years and has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) has consolidated its control over much of southern Somalia after seizing the capital, Mogadishu.

The UIC was set up by businessmen who wanted to impose law and order, and their gunmen have become Somalia's strongest fighting force

The decline in piracy has also been attributed to foreign navy patrols. When the case opened in February the suspects said they were fishermen and did not know why they had been "abducted" from their fishing boat.

But Indian sailors identified the men, who were caught by the US Navy in international waters, and said they had been tortured by them.

The rescued Indian vessel was brought to Mombasa because it was the nearest port.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific