A Yemeni state security court on Tuesday convicted six Somalis to death, and sentenced six others to 10 years in jail, for attacking two Yemeni oil tankers and killing two Yemeni soldiers, court sources said.

The sources said the 12 convicts were present at the court when the verdicts were delivered by Chief Judge Muhssein Alwan.

Yemeni naval forces captured the 12 men in a rescue operation after they seized an oil tanker and attempted to take over another tanker sailing along with in the Arabian Sea on April 26.

The two ships were empty of cargo and were sailing from the Arabian Sea Yemeni port of Nashtoon to the southern port city of Aden when the pirates hijacked them, Yemeni officials have said.

Two Yemeni soldiers were killed in the operation and a third went missing, they said.

Piracy in the waters off Somalia, generally—recognised as a failed state, have created an international crisis for shipping.

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