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US prosecutors file more charges in piracy case

US prosecutors file more charges in piracy case

A Somali teen charged with piracy in last spring's hostage-taking of a U.S. cargo ship captain is now being accused of helping seize two other ships off the coast of Africa.
A U.S. indictment unsealed Tuesday in New York charges Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse and others with boarding two vessels and holding the crews at gunpoint last March and April.
The new court papers didn't identify the other ships and offered few details about the alleged attacks.
Prosecutors say that shortly after those incidents, the attack was launched on the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama that sparked worldwide headlines.
The FBI says Muse was the first of four pirates to board the ship about 280 miles (450 kilometers) off the Somali coast April 8. The captain, Richard Phillips, was held hostage in a lifeboat until U.S. Navy sharpshooters killed three of the suspects several days later.
The 18-year-old Muse, the only survivor, has pleaded not guilty to piracy, hostage-taking and other charges. The case is believed to be the first U.S. piracy prosecution in more than a century.
Muse's attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the new charges.
In a statement, federal prosecutor Preet Bharara vowed that "modern-day pirates who wreak havoc off faraway coasts will be met with modern-day justice in the United States."
The new indictment did not specify how many suspects took part in the first two attacks but did say the three who were killed by sharpshooters were among them.


Updated : 2021-10-28 19:27 GMT+08:00