Libyan airplane hijacked with 118 people onboard
On 23rd December, 2016 a Libyan airline, Afriqiyah was scheduled to fly from from Tahment Airport to Sabha, a domestic route with duration of just a little more than an hour. Two men who claim to be followers of the late Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi hijacked the local airplane, Airbus A320, with a fake hand grenade and guns. The pilots of the flight were forced to divert to Malta.
There was a four-hour standstill with the moderators from Malta and Libya which finished on Friday after the two men left the aircraft with a crewmember who was their last hostage. They were then handcuffed and taken away by the authorities. Onboard there were 118 people, including one infant, and seven crew members.
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Amid the arrangements, one of the thieves told Libya's Channel TV in a telephone call that he started headed a group supporting Gaddafi, and this was composed to spread awareness of the group.
Malta's PM, Joseph Muscat said the moderators declined to the discussions till all passengers were released. The negotiation was agreed upon and the passengers were released in groups.
The party called New Al-Fateh, is inspired by the 1969 revolution that lead Gaddafi to power, Reuters reported. Photographs from Malta show a hijacker outside the plane with a green banner which looked like the ones used by the followers of Gaddafi. Libya's former totalitarian leader was killed in a 2011 revolution, amid which three of his sons were also killed.
From that point forward, a great part of the oil-rich nation that is barely populated slipped into confusion. Governments are competing for control, with western countries backing the UN-facilitated organization as the best seek after joining Libya, while a parliament that meets in the far east declines to acknowledge the administration's power.
As of late Libya's shorelines have turned into a key escaping point for both refugees and transients endeavoring the unsafe sea trip to Europe. It’s believed that the confusion in Libya may have permitted the hijackers to illegally and secretly carry their fake weapons on board.
An Afriqiyah Airways official said that the men at first ordered the pilot to travel to Malta, which is about 350km north of Tripoli, however, for a short time quickly headed back towards Libya, and then lastly pivoted again to arrive in Malta. The pilot had attempted to induce the men to arrive in Libya.
It was stated by Reuters that a security source from the airport, who wanted to stay anonymous, said that the pilot had told the air traffic control in Tripoli that they had hijackers on board and was being seized, but they lost communication right after. The pilot however had tried his very best to attempt to land at the scheduled destination.
All flights to and from Malta's air terminal were either canceled or redirected amid the standoff, and security assembled close to the plane, which was on the runway with its motors running after it had landed. Malta has been known for its hijackers in the past. In 1985, an EgyptAir flight flying from Athens to Cairo was compelled to arrive on the island, where a 24-hour distressed experience finished with the death of 60 captives. A significant number of them were killed when Egyptian commandos raged the plane.
Twelve years prior, the then PM, Dom Mintoff, arranged a victorious ending to another seizing. A KLM flight from Amsterdam to Tokyo was captured over Iraqi airspace, then traveled to Malta after it was rejected landing authorization everywhere. He then obtained the safe release of 247 travelers and eight crewmembers in exchange of fuel, and the plane made a beeline for Dubai, where the rest of the prisoners were discharged.
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