The Latest: Hijack negotiating team on standby in Malta

32 minutes ago

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — The Latest on the apparent hijacking of a Libyan plane that landed in Malta (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

The office of Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has confirmed that a negotiating team is on standby at Malta International Airport awaiting instructions from the prime minister, who is in a meeting with the National Security Committee.

State television TVM said the two hijackers of the Libyan plane had hand grenades and had threatened to explode them. Airport officials said the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 flight has 118 passengers on board.

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12:50 p.m.

Malta’s state television says two hijackers who diverted a Libyan commercial plane to the Mediterranean island nation have threatened to blow it up.

The Malta airport authority said all emergency teams had been dispatched to the site of what it called an “unlawful interference” on the airport tarmac. The plane’s engines were still running.

State television TVM said the two hijackers on board had hand grenades and had threatened to explode them.

All flights in and out of Malta have been canceled.

Airport officials said the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 flight has 118 passengers on board.

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12:05 p.m.

Malta airport says a Libyan plane has landed at the Mediterranean island and that there appear to be two hijackers on board.

The Malta airport authority said all emergency teams had been dispatched to the site of what it called an “unlawful interference” on the airport tarmac.

Earlier Friday, Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, said in a tweet that there was a “potential hijack situation” involving an internal Libyan flight that was diverted to Malta and that emergency operations are underway at the airport.

Airport officials said the Afriqiyah Airways A320 flight has 118 passengers on board.

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