Libyan plane hijackers surrender in Malta
Libya’s UN-backed unity government announced Friday evening the formation of a "national investigation committee” regarding the hijacking of a passenger plane.

An Afriqiyah Airways domestic flight from Sabha to Tripoli was diverted to Malta earlier on Friday. The two hijackers eventually surrendered and passengers and crew were released.

In a press conference in Tripoli, Transport Minister Milad Matouq, and the director general of Libya's Civil Aviation Authority (LYCAA), Capt. Nasereddin Shaebelain said the formation of the committee would be composed of different security agencies.

Matouq confirmed all the passengers were freed and in good health, as Maltese authorities provided medical services and food to the passengers.

Maltese PM live-tweets during hijack

All passengers and crew of the hijacked Libyan plane were released and the hijackers detained, Joseph Muscat, the Maltese prime minister had indicated on Twitter.

"Hijackers surrendered, searched and taken in custody," he tweeted.

The passengers had been gradually released up to the hijackers' surrender.

"It has been established that #Afriqiyah flight has 111 passengers on board. 82 males, 28 females, 1 infant," Muscat had written earlier.

A Tripoli-based source told Anadolu Agency that the kidnappers of the hijacked plane had threatened to blow up a homemade bomb to force the crew to head to Malta airport.

The source, who requested anonymity, said the information came from colleagues at the control tower of Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, the Libyan capital. The source added that information about how the plane was hijacked and the potential weapon used was revealed by pilot to the control tower.

The two kidnappers demanded political asylum in Malta, an official of Afriqiyah Airways told Anadolu Agency

"The safety and security of our passengers is our top priority. While some flights have been delayed or diverted, airport operations have resumed," Malta International Airport had said in a statement.

"MIA can confirm that there is an unlawful interference at the airport. All emergency teams have been dispatched to the site," it had added.
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Last Modified: 2016-12-24 12:09:58
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