The Ukrainian sailors, captured by Somali pirates, are on the whole in a satisfactory condition, though they are suffering from heat (more than 40 degrees) and from lack of water and food.
At least 6 Ukrainian citizens, crew members of a British tanker, found themselves captives two weeks ago when the vessel was captured by pirates near the Somali coast.
At present the captives are being kept in the coastal village of Bareda, 150 km from the town of Bosaso, according to eyewitnesses.
According to another source, only the captain is kept in Bareda, while the rest of the crew have been divided into groups and hidden nearby to make the rescue operation more difficult. The pirates were scared by the information of the British frigate HMS Cumberland conducting the search of the sailors.
The captives are guarded by about 100 well-armed gunmen who demand $1 million from the tanker's owner.
This has been the third assault of Somali pirates on foreign cargo ships this month. The International Navigation Bureau warns captains from approaching the Somali coast at more than 100 sea miles because of gunmen's activities in the district.
At present the international waters near the Somali coast are patrolled by military vessels from Great Britain, the USA, Germany, France and Italy. Their goal is to intercept Al-Qaida terrorists who attempt to reach Somalia via sea in search of asylum.