The Libyan passenger flight has been hijacked by two armed persons and taken to Malta an there were 118 passengers on board. The Prime Minister of Malta said in a tweet, “potential hijack situation” and that emergency operation are underway at the airport.
According to Malta airport authorities there were two hijackers armed with hand grenades and threatened to blow up the plane. The Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 was on an internal flight from Sabha in southern Libya to Tripoli when it was diverted to Malta.
The airport authorities said that pilot of the hijacked Libyan flight told the Tripoli base station that the flight was hijacked before the communication was lost.
The office of Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has confirmed that a negotiating team is on standby at Malta International Airport awaiting instructions from the prime minister, who is in a meeting with the National Security Committee.
Maltese state television TVM said the two hijackers of the plane had hand grenades and had threatened to explode them.
Libya has been in a largely lawless state since Moammar Gadhafi was ousted and killed in 2011 after 42 years of unchallenged rule in the North African nation.
All flights in and out of Malta have been canceled. The Malta airport authority said all emergency teams had been dispatched to the site of what it called an “unlawful interference” on the airport tarmac. The plane’s engines were still running.
Passengers have begun disembarking from the hijacked Libyan aircraft in Malta.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says 65 passengers have left the hijacked Libyan plane. All those who have been seen leaving the aircraft have been without their hand luggage.
Stay tuned to @techie_wheels for more updates!