Published: Saturday 24 December, 2016

Libyan Plane Hijacking Ends as Hijackers Surrender, Seek Asylum in Malta

The plane hijacking at the Malta airport has ended without bloodshed. All Hostages have been freed.

Libyan plane hijacking

Libyan plane hijacking ends peacefully. (PHOTO: Israel News Online/twitter)

The Libyan hijackers have surrendered to authorities in Malta. This after they commandeered a Libyan plane  with 118 passengers on board and diverted it to Malta. 

The drama began when the Libyan plane, an Afriqiyah Airways A320, left the city of Sabha en route to Tripoli at around 8:20 AM local time. Two men armed with grenades declared a hijack and ordered that the flight be diverted to Malta. A stand-off ensued after the plane landed at the Malta International airport.

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Malta authorities were in negotiations with the hijackers during the standoff but their demands were initially unknown. Eventually, the hijackers were convinced to released some of the 118 passengers, which included women and children.

Following more negotiations, the rest of the passengers and crew were released unharmed. The hijackers were arrested.

According to media reports, the hijackers were demanding the creation of a pro-Gaddafi party and the release Gaddafi’s son Saif al Islam.

According to BBC News, Libyan planes cannot fly directly to Europe because European airspace has been closed to all flights from the country for over two years for security reasons. This hijacking incident will certainly not help in lifting that ban anytime soon.

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