A report out of Kenya says Somali pirates have hijacked a German ship with 24 crew members on board.

Andrew Mwangura, of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, says pirates seized the 20,000 ton container vessel Saturday in the Indian Ocean.

He says the hijacking occurred about 740 kilometers off the coast of Kismayo, between Kenya and the Seychelles.

Somali pirates have seized dozens of ships over the past 18 months, receving millions of dollars in ransom payments.

The number of successful hijackings dropped off during January and February after the United States, China and other world powers deployed warships to the area.

But the pirates have seized at least six ships since mid-March, including four European commercial vessels and two yachts from Seychelles.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.