A Somali teenager captured by the US navy during a confrontation with pirates is to be taken to the US to face trail, US officials have said.

The man, named as Abdul Wali Muse, was allegedly involved in the attempt to seize the Maersk Alabama merchant ship off Somalia last week.

His three companions were killed by US navy snipers in the operation to rescue the Alabama’s kidnapped US captain.

Capt Richard Phillips is now returning to the US from Kenya after his ordeal.

US officials say Mr Muse will be tried in a federal court in New York, American media have reported.

There is some confusion about his age, however, and whether he can be tried as an adult in the US.

No charges have been filed, but acts of piracy can carry a sentence of life in prison, says the BBC’s Jonathan Beale in Washington.

It is not clear when Mr Muse will be taken to the US.

US officials had considered handing him over to authorities in Kenya, which has prosecuted pirates in the past under an international agreement.

On Thursday, French officials said they would send 11 suspected pirates to Kenya for trial.

There has been pressure to prosecute him in an American court as the Maersk Alabama is a US-flagged ship and Capt Phillips is an American citizen, says our correspondent.



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