Five Somali men accused of firing assault rifles at a Navy ship off the coast of Africa are set to face the first U.S. piracy trial in more than 100 years.
The suspected pirates are accused of shooting at the USS Nicholas in an attempt to plunder what they thought was a merchant ship. Instead, they fired on a battle-tested, 453-foot (138-meter) ship patrolling the pirate-infested waters, which shot back, forcing the men to flee in their small skiff, prosecutors said.
The men, along with other suspected pirates, were eventually captured and brought back to the U.S. to stand trial. Yet, until now, no case has actually gone to a jury. The federal trial will begin Tuesday and is expected to last about a month.
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