Hijacked Libyan plane: 2 pro-Gaddafi supporters agree to let 118 passengers free (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 15:11)
Hijackers aboard a Libyan plane that landed in Malta have agreed to give up their weapons and let the 118 passengers on board free, Malta Today reports.
Early reports suggest that the two hijackers are pro-Gaddafi supporters who have threatened to blow up the plane with a hand-grenade, and keep the passengers hostage onboard unless certain, as yet unknown, demands are met.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said in a tweet that there are 111 passengers on board – 82 males, 28 females and one infant.
Earlier today, Muscat said that he has been informed of a “potential hijack situation of a Libya internal flight diverted to Malta”.
“Security and emergency operations are standing by,” he said.
The plane, Afriqiyah Airbus A320, landed in Malta at around 11:32 am. It is one of three A320s that Afriqiyah, a state-owned airline based in Tripoli, owns.
The plane, flight number 8U209, left Sabha in south-west Libya for Tripoli at 10:10 am. It was scheduled to arrive in Tripoli at 11:20 am, but was instead diverted to Malta International Airport at 11:20.
The Malta International Airport said in a statement that there was an unlawful interference at the airport and that all emergency teams have been dispatched to the site.
Flights leaving the MIA have been delayed, while planes scheduled to land at the airport are being diverted to Catania.