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Pirates transferred to Netherlands

THE HAGUE, Apr 15 – Ten alleged pirates arrested by the Dutch navy for attacking a German cargo ship off the Somali coast were transferred to The Netherlands Wednesday, a defence official said.

The military plane carrying the suspects landed in Eindhoven, in the south of The Netherlands, on Wednesday evening after a flight from Djibouti, said Robin Middel, spokesman for the Dutch defence ministry.

"The pirates are going to be held in The Netherlands until their extradition to Germany," the ministry said in a statement.

The 10 alleged pirates, who are all Somalis, were handed over to judicial officials and placed in detention, said Middel.

They are to appear before a magistrate in Amsterdam on Thursday, said court spokeswoman Anna-Mieke Jeuring.

If an accelerated extradition procedure is ordered, they could be transferred to Germany in 10 days, she said. If not, their extradition would be examined in a hearing that would occur in about 60 days.

On April 5 after an exchange of gunfire a Dutch warship freed the Taipan, a German vessel that was targeted by pirates about 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of the Somali coast.

The 15 crew members, who took refuge in a protected area of the ship, were all unharmed.

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The Dutch navy is part of the European anti-piracy naval mission fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia.

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