Passengers of hijacked Libyan flight leave Malta for home
Earlier, two Libyan hijackers, who are loyal to the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, diverted the domestic flight to Malta demanding asylum in Europe and create a new political party in honor of Gadhafi
The passengers of Libyan flight that was hijacked and diverted to Malta on Friday have reportedly left the island on to return home.
According to Malta’s interior minister Carmelo Abela, the passengers left early on Saturday and they had been interviewed by police before leaving. Reports said Afriqiyah Airways sent an aircraft to bring the more than 100 passengers back to Libya.
Afriqiyah plane with passengers departing now from Malta. Great team effort. pic.twitter.com/5chPPuQEWQ
— Carmelo Abela (@AbelaCarmelo) December 24, 2016
Earlier, two Libyan hijackers, who are loyal to the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, diverted the domestic flight to Malta demanding asylum in Europe and create a new political party in honor of Gadhafi.
The plane, Afriqiyah Airways Flight 8U209, was en route to the Libyan capital of Tripoli with 111 passengers aboard when hijacked. After hours of negotiation, the hijackers released the passengers and surrendered.
Malta is situated about 350km north of Libya’s capital Tripoli, and it is strategically located near Tunisia, which has been a haven for hijackers before.
Maltese prime minister, Joseph Muscat, earlier said: “The hijackers were told that in order for any discussions to be entertained, they should release all passengers first.”
“This request was negotiated and eventually accepted and passengers were released in groups,” he added.
Hijackers surrendered, searched and taken in custody.
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) December 23, 2016
The hijackers reportedly claimed that they wanted publicity for a new political party, which is apparently called the New Al-Fateh, referring to the 1969 coup that brought Gaddafi to power, Reuters reported.