BEIJING – Chinese state media say pirates have hijacked a cargo ship with 24 Chinese sailors in the Arabian Sea.
The official Xinhua News Agency said in a brief report that the Panama-registered ship was hijacked by seven pirates Thursday morning.
Pirates from Somalia, which has not had a functioning government in two decades, are active in the region.
The state-run China News Service reported two Chinese navy ships were headed to the scene to aid in rescue efforts.
Chinese naval squadrons are stationed in the region to escort commercial ships and make anti-piracy patrols with NATO nations, Russia and India.
Confrontations with pirates have turned increasingly violent in recent months. Pirates typically command approximately $5 million to release a ship and crew.