Pirates: we won’t blow up arms ship

Ukranian ship Faina (AFP PHOTO / Jason Zalasky)
The pirates holding a Ukrainian ship off the coast of Somalia have withdrawn their threat to blow up the vessel if a ranson is not paid.

The hijackers had originally demanded $US 20 million to release the ship, which is packed with tanks and weapons. Sources suggest the pirates have dropped their ransom to $US 8 million.

“We have withdrawn our threat to explode the Faina,” said pirates’ spokesperson Sugule Ali on Wednesday. He also added that “negotiations are going well”.

The vessel was captured on September 25. There are three Russians, one Latvian and 17 Ukrainian citizens on board.

The captain Vladimir Kolobkov died of heart attack soon after the vessel was captured.

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