The nationality of prisoners has not yet been determined yet
Information about the incident in the territorial waters of Somalia is still contradictory. Gunmen seized a British vessel, which was carrying fuel from the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of South Africa. The tanker was allegedly attacked by three speedboats.
It was reported that there were six Ukrainian men in the crew of the seized vessel, then it became known that all of the sailors were Georgians and that the tanker was not British, but Greek. Furthermore, the Ukrainian embassy in Great Britain stated Kiyevskiye Vedomosti newspaper, that the crew might be Russian.
As the above-mentioned newspaper informed, the seized vessel and the crew were currently in the northeast of Somalia, in the town of Puntland, which recently proclaimed its independence. The gunmen are asking for one million dollars. News agencies report that the gunmen are not educated, which is why they were unable to name the tanker that they seized. Most likely, they are not interested in the nationalities of the crew, but they guard them very well. RIA Novosti reported with reference to Radio Mogadishu that the prisoners were guarded by about a hundred armed gunmen. The prisoners were reportedly divided into several groups in order to complicate any possible liberation operation.
A correspondent from RIA Novosti reported from South Africa that the condition of Ukrainian sailors was satisfactory, although they are suffering from the overwhelming heat and a lack of food and water.
In the meantime, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry investigating the event, and it is not yet sure that there are Ukrainian sailors among the prisoners.
Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Kiev
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov