An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 flight 8U209 has been hijacked by pro-Gadhafi terrorists who have threatened to blow up the plane if their demands aren’t met. The plane was flying an inter-Libya route: from Sebha to Tripoli, the Libya’s capital, when it was hijacked by two men and forced to land in Malta.
Update 10:00 AM–The Maltese Prime Minister has announced that the situation is now stable and the hijackers have been led away in handcuffs.
Afriqiyah Airways Flight 80U209 was on its way from Sebha, a desert city in Southwest Libya, to Tripoli, when two hijackers armed with hand grenades took over the airplane. The pilot reported via the radio that their plane had been hijacked and that he was trying to land the plane in Tripoli, but the hijackers instead forced him to land on the mediterranean island of Malta.
Once the plane landed the terrorists made themselves known. They announced that they were supporters of the deceased Colonel Moammar Gadhafi and that they wanted political asylum. If they were not granted the asylum, they would blow themselves and the 109 passengers (plus cabin crew) up. As time passed, the hijackers began releasing more and more hostages–first 25 passengers (probably women and children), then another 40.
After some time, the entire plane was released and the two hijackers thankfully gave themselves up and were taken away in handcuffs.
Who Were The Hijackers?
The names of the hijackers haven’t been released yet, but we can confirm that two men have been led away in handcuffs.
The origin of the flight, Sebha, is a hotbed of political tribal violence between tribes loyal to Gadhafi and anti-Gadhafi tribes. The two men who hijacked the plane claimed to be pro-Gadhafi troops.
**This story is developing. Refresh for updates.**