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Somali pirates given life sentence in US


Washington : Two Somali pirates were awarded life in prison by a US court Monday for hijacking and killing two American couples on the high seas, Xinhua reported.

A federal judge sentenced 30-year-old Muhidin Salad Omar and Mahdi Jama Mohamed, who was believed to be 23 or 24 years old, to life in prison for their roles in the hijacking and later death of four Americans, said Neil MacBride, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Omar and Mohamed were members of a pirate group that kidnapped a US boat in February.

The boat’s owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., along with Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death after pirates took them hostage several hundred miles south of Oman.

Both Omar and Mohamed cooperated with the prosecution, and made guilty pleas. The piracy charge carries a mandatory life imprisonment sentence.