US Navy says crew on hijacked ship near Somalia OK

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A U.S. Navy spokeswoman says the crew on a hijacked Ukrainian cargo ship laden with tanks and heavy weaponry are, by all indications, in good health.

Lt. Stephanie Murdock, a 5th Fleet spokeswoman in Bahrain, said Monday that American officials are in contact with the master of the MV Faina which is being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The vessel was seized by pirates late last month with 21 crew on board.

"From all indications, everything is fine with the crew members on board," Murdock told The Associated Press.

One Russian crew member has reportedly died, apparently of illness. The hostages are Ukrainian, Latvian and Russian.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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