Libya hijack: Plane carrying 118 diverted to Malta

Afriqiyah Airways plane surrounded by troops at Malta Airport (23 December)Image copyright

Image caption

The Afriqiyah Airways plane was surrounded by Maltese troops on the runway

A Libyan passenger plane with 118 people on board has been hijacked and forced to land in Malta, the airline Afriqiyah Airways has confirmed.

The Airbus A320 was flying inside Libya for Afriqiyah Airways when it was diverted, local media report.

There were two hijackers involved, who threatened to bomb the plane, according to initial reports.

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat said security forces were standing by.

Malta International Airport confirmed on Twitter that there had been an “unlawful interference” at the airport.

It said emergency teams had been dispatched.

Darrin Zammit Lupi, a Reuters news agency photographer based in Malta, told the BBC he could see a number of soldiers and special forces vehicles at the scene.

Some flights to Malta are being diverted to the Italian island of Sicily.

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