Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has confirmed that 65 passengers have been released from a Libyan plane that was hijacked to Malta.
The hijacker told crew he was “pro-Gaddafi” and that he was willing to let all 111 passengers leave the Airbus A320, but not with its seven crew, if his demands were met.
The captain of the Libyan passenger plane that was forced to land in Malta has informed the control tower that its hijackers are threatening to blow it up with a home-made explosive device.
It added that it was unclear what the demands were or whether the hijacker was acting alone.
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, and the country has been racked by factional violence since.
There are 111 passengers and seven crew members on board the Afriqiyah Airways A320 jet that was on an internal flight from Sebha to Tripoli in Libya, but was forced to divert to the Mediterranean island of Malta.
According to Muscat, the passengers included 82 men, 28 women and one infant.