The island nation of Seychelles says it has prosecuted and convicted Somali pirates for the first time.

The office of the president said on Monday that a Seychelles court sentenced 11 Somali pirates to 10 years in prison each for their attempt to hijack the Seychelles coast guard patrol boat Topaz last December.

Eight of the Somalis were convicted of piracy, and three of them of aiding and abetting pirates.

Somali pirates have expanded their range in response to patrols by international warships and now regularly prey on ships near Seychelles.

There are 29 other suspected pirates in Seychelles awaiting trial or awaiting transfer to Somalia.

The international community helps fund trials in the Seychelles and Kenya.

More In: International | News