Hostages being held by Somali pirates on board a Ukrainian ship since September could be released with days if a $3 million ransom is received, Reuters reported.

Negotiations between the pirates and the ship's owners are in contact and are expected to be completed, "within several days," Fahran Muse, a spokesman for the gang holding the ship, told Reuters.

The MV Faina and its 20-man crew were taken over by pirates in September.

"The negotiations between us and the owners of the ship are in the final phase. We are about to agree $3 million, then we will release the ship, probably after four days," pirate Aden Gelle told Reuters from Haradheere port.

The pirates had originally asked for $20 million for the ship, which is laden with tanks and other heavy weapons, The Associated Press reported.

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