Eleven suspected pirates were indicted Friday in Norfolk, Va. on charges of piracy.
The men were accused of attacking American naval vessels off the coast of Africa. The 11 have been held for weeks aboard U.S. Navy ships.
The suspects were tried in the U.S. since the African nation of Kenya began refusing to take piracy suspects earlier this month.
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"We have worked co-operatively with Kenya and are continuing to look at other ways in which we can try to help resolve this challenge within the region. Kenya has been very receptive to prosecuting a number of these pirates in the past," P. J. Crowley, a US State Department spokesman, said.
"But Kenya is reaching a capacity problem," he said. "So this is where all countries have to step up, just as we are doing, and take responsibility for pirates who attacked their ships and prosecute them to the fullest extent of national law."
In addition to piracy, the men were also charged with the intention of attacking to plunder a vessel, assault with a dangerous weapon, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.