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Spain tries 6 Somalis for piracy after ship attack

Published: Monday, Oct. 7 2013 7:26 a.m. MDT

In this photo taken Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, masked Somali pirate Abdi Ali stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew, in the once-bustling pirate den of Hobyo, Somalia.  (Farah Abdi Warsameh, Associated Press) In this photo taken Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, masked Somali pirate Abdi Ali stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew, in the once-bustling pirate den of Hobyo, Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, Associated Press)

MADRID — Six Somalis who allegedly attacked a Spanish warship in 2012 off the coast of Somalia went on trial in the Spanish capital, with prosecutors seeking a 23-year sentence for each defendant.

A National Court spokesman said Monday the six are charged with piracy, weapon possession and membership of a criminal group.

The six were arrested in January 2012 following a shootout when they allegedly tried to board the Patino vessel. The Defense Ministry said the attackers possibly mistook the warship for a freighter.

The six claim they are fishermen and had approached the ship for help.

The Patino formed part of a European Union flotilla fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean.

The trial is expected to end Wednesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of court rules.

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