Somali pirates holding a Ukrainian ship seized exactly two months ago with a cargo of combat tanks and other weaponry said on Tuesday they had lowered their ransom demand to US$3 million.

''We are demanding three million dollars to release the MV Faina,'' said Sugule Ali, the spokesman of the group of pirates that hijacked the ship on September 25.

''We are running out of time, waiting for an outcome to these protracted negotiations. The owners should immediately take this opportunity to recover their property,'' said Ali.


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