Libyan hijack ends peacefully in Malta, 2 detained
MALTA, December 23, 2016
The hijacking of a Libyan plane, with 118 people on board has ended peacefully on Sunday after armed men who seized control surrendered in Malta.
The domestic flight with 118 people on board was hijacked after taking off from Sabha, bound for the Libyan capital Tripoli, reported the BBC.
Instead, the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 was diverted to Malta International Airport.
It appears the two hijackers are supporters of Libya's late deposed leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Pictures of them kneeling on the tarmac with their hands up appear to show the moment they were arrested by the Maltese authorities.
Shortly before the incident drew to an end, one man emerged from the plane briefly and stood on the plane steps waving a green, Gaddafi-era flag - adding support to earlier suggestions they were loyalists to the former leader, killed in 2011.
All the passengers - including one infant - and a number of the crew had already been released, stated the report.
Speaking at a press conference after the men were arrested, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat revealed the men had been armed with a pistol and a grenade.
Neither of the men, believed to be of Libyan nationality, had made any demands, the report quoted him as saying.
"The two hijackers have been detained in custody and interrogations are ongoing," he added.