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Relatives of captive crew seek meeting with Ukrainian leader

14.10.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

Family members of over 15 Ukrainians held hostage by Somali pirates for more than two weeks have gathered outside the offices of the Ukrainian president, the Unian news agency reported on Monday.

Around 20 relatives of the 17 Ukrainians on board the hijacked MV Faina said they would not leave until granted an audience with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

The Faina, carrying at least 33 tanks and other heavy weaponry, was seized by Somali pirates on September 25.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry earlier cited the ship's owner, Tomax Team Inc., as saying there were also three Russians and one Latvian on board the Faina when it was seized. The ship's captain, Russian Vladimir Kolobkov, earlier died of a heart attack.

The Faina is currently surrounded by six U.S. warships.

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