A Somali pirate on a hijacked cargo ship laden with tanks and heavy weaponry says the ransom demand has been reduced from $20 million to $8 million.
A man who identified himself as Jama Aden and spoke to The Associated Press by satellite phone on Tuesday is not the usual spokesman for the pirates so it was unclear whether he was speaking officially for the men holding the MV Faina. Aden answered the telephone of the spokesman, Sugule Ali.
“There are high hopes we will release the ship within hours if they pay us $8 million,” Aden said. “The negotiations with the ship owners are going on well.”
Six US warships are surrounding the Faina. A a Russian frigate is headed toward the standoff. The Navy warships have been tracking the ship amid fears its weapons might fall into the hands of Al Qaeda-linked insurgents.