Hijackers Threaten To ‘Blow Up’ Plane After Landing In Malta

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A passenger plane carrying 118 people has landed in Malta after being hijacked by an unknown group. 

The Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 was intended to be an internal Libyan flight travelling en route from Sebha to the country’s capital of Tripoli when it was hijacked and diverted to Malta, reports The Independent.

Although there is very little information on the situation at the minute the hijackers have reportedly claimed that they will blow the plane up if their demands are not met.

Hijackers have reportedly claimed that they are pro-Gadaffi and that they will let all passengers go, besides the crew, if their demands are met.

Unconfirmed claims state that there are members of the Libyan government on board the Afriqiyah flight.

However as of yet their demands have not been reported on.

Speaking to UNILAD, Libyan journalist, Nadia Ramadan, said:

All flights cancelled at Maltese airport. Ongoing negotiations between Maltese officials and hijackers are currently taking place.

Reports claim that hijackers on board are armed with hand grenades.

The plane is currently surrounded by soldiers.

A senior security official at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport told Reuters:

The pilot reported to the control tower in Tripoli that they were being hijacked, then they lost communication with him. The pilot tried very hard to have them land at the correct destination but they refused.

UPDATE:

Some passengers, thought to be the women on board the flight, have left the plane after negotiations. It is thought that all 88 men on board have not been freed.

The Maltese Prime Minister tweeted to confirm the news.

Shortly afterwards, as negotiations continued, a second batch of passengers were released.

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