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Six suspected Somali pirates are being detained in Montagne Posee Prison in the Seychelles after they were transferred to the port of Victoria on Thursday by the Italian Navy, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Friday.

The six were arrested by the Italians, who are deployed as part of the European anti-piracy operation Atlanta, on suspicion of carrying out attacks earlier this month off southern Somalia.

They were spotted by a military helicopter as they carried out attacks on a container ship and fishing vessel on November 17 and 18. The men were transferred to the Seychelles under an agreement with the EU, but their prosecution will depend on the evidence presented to the Seychelles attorney general.

The coast off Somalia has been the scene of a number of attacks in recent months, raising fears of a possible resurgence of Somali piracy which had declined from its peak in 2011 in the wake of stepped up navy patrols.

During the years of Somali piracy hundreds of seafarers were kidnapped and international shipping disrupted.

While warships and armed guards have reduced the number of attacks, they have done nothing to address the root causes of piracy, which lie in Somalia's decades of state failure, poverty and lack of economic opportunity.

The last similar transfer of suspects to the Seychelles was in 2014.

-  African News Agency (ANA)