Europe's anti-piracy task force says Somali pirates have seized a Panamanian-flagged ship off Africa's east coast.

A statement from the European Union's Operation Atalanta says six pirates boarded the MV Al Khaliq near the Seychelles islands early Thursday.

The statement did not say how many crew were aboard the cargo ship or their nationalities.

The task force also says pirates unsuccessfully attempted to hijack the MV Jolly Rosso off the Kenyan coast on Thursday.

The Gulf of Aden is one of the busiest and most dangerous waterways in the world. Somalia has been ravaged by violence and anarchy since 1991 and piracy has flourished off its coast.

Somali pirates seized more than 40 vessels in 2008, pocketing an estimated $30 million in ransom.