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Libya plane hijack: All passengers released, hijackers surrender

By Newsd
Updated on :

All passengers and crew on board an Afriqiyah Airways flight which has been hijacked from Libya and diverted to Malta where it landed earlier on Friday, have been freed. The hijackers have surrendered, Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted this evening.

The two hijackers, after releasing the passengers, were holding some crew hostage, and were negotiating for asylum in Malta. They had earlier threatened to blow up the Airbus A320 with grenades.

The hijackers had reportedly told authorities that they are supporters of former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

According to Malta Today, the flight landed in Malta at around 11:32am. The plane, flight number 8U209, left Sabha in south-west Libya for Tripoli at 10:10am. It was scheduled to arrive in Tripoli at 11:20am, but was diverted to Malta International Airport at 11:20.

A total of 111 passengers – 82 men, 28 women and an infant – and seven crew members are on board the aircraft which landed in Malta at 11.32am. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted that a group of passengers consisting women and children were released. All passengers are believed to be Libyan.

A spokesperson for the Malta Air Traffic Services quoted by Malta Today said that it is far too early to release any information.

Maltese media reported that the pro-Gaddafi hackers are in possession of a hand grenade and has threatened to blow up the plane if demands are not met.

Republic of Malta is a southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, lies 80 km south of Italy.


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