Two suspected hijackers of an Afriqiyah Airways airliner with 111 passengers aboard have threatened to blow up the plane on the runway at the international airport in Malta, a Maltese government spokesman said Friday.
The airliner, an Airbus A320, landed at Malta’s Luqa airport at 1030 GMT, according to Flightradar24. A negotiating team was in contact with the hijackers, the spokesman said.
In messages on his official Twitter account early Friday afternoon, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said 25 passengers, including women and children, had been released. He gave no further details.
The plane, bound for Libyan capital Tripoli from the central city of Sabha, was diverted by the alleged hijackers, who demanded to be flown to the tiny Mediterranean island. The men, both Libyan, threatened the crew with homemade grenades, according to an Afriqiyah board member.