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Reuters reported that a Libyan Airbus A320 is being hijacked. The aircraft has diverted to Malta and has 118 passengers on board. The Prime Minister of Matla, Joseph Muscat, has said he has been informed about a potential hijack and that security and emergency operations are standing by.

The Airbus A320, probably operated by Afriqiyah Airways, was operating flight 8U209 between Sabha and Tripoli when it was hijacked. The aircraft with registration, 5A-ONB, was scheduled to take off at 10:10 am (UTC+2) and arrive at 11:20 am (UTC+2) in Tripoli.

The airplane carried 82 males, 28 females and 1 infant including 7 crewmembers.Some of the passengers were released after initially being held hostage. The crew were released later and the hijackers surrendered.

The 2 hijackers were threatening to blast the aircraft, which was standing at the runway in Malta. Following the hijack, Malta International Airport had been closed for a short time. Inbound flights were being diverted to  Catania, Palermo and Trapani.

According to The Times of Malta, the hijacker are pro-Gaddafi and at least one of them is claiming to be in possession of a hand grenade. He said he was willing to let all passengers go apart from the crew, if his demands were met. His demands remain unknown.

Last update 12/23/2016, 10:00 am