A South Korean court has begun a trial for five Somali pirates captured during a raid on a hijacked ship in the Arabian Sea.

The five were arrested in January after a team of South Korean commandos raided the seized South Korean-operated cargo ship and killed eight other pirates.

The commandos rescued all 21 crew members, including the ship's captain, who was shot in the stomach by one of the pirates during the raid.

The Busan District Court says the trial started Monday. The pirates have been charged with attempted murder, hostage taking and maritime robbery.

The court says the pirate who allegedly shot the captain could face the death penalty if convicted, while the other four could face up to life in prison.

A verdict is expected Friday.