December 23, 2016 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: As per media reports, a passenger plane with 118 people on board that was hijacked over Libya and forced to land in Malta on Friday by the Hijackers armed with a grenade and pistols, freed all their hostages unharmed and surrendered after declaring their loyalty to Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The internal flight 8U209 was diverted to the Mediterranean island on Friday morning.
Television pictures showed two men being led from the aircraft in handcuffs. The prime minister of the tiny Mediterranean island, Joseph Muscat, tweeted “hijackers surrendered, searched and taken into custody”. The Airbus A320 had been on an internal flight in Libya on Friday when it was diverted to Malta, 500 km north of the Libyan coast, after a man told the crew he had a hand grenade. A Libyan television channel reported it had spoken by phone with a hijacker who described himself as head of a pro-Gaddafi party. Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, and Libya has been racked by factional violence since.
As reported by Hindustan Times (HT) Buses could be seen driving on to the tarmac at Malta International Airport to carry away 109 passengers, as well as some of the crew. Television footage showed no signs of struggle or alarm.
According to the report by Libya’s Channel TV station one of the hijacker, who gave his name as Moussa Shaha, had said he was the head of Al-Fateh Al-Jadid, or The New Al-Fateh. Al-Fateh is the name that Gaddafi gave to September, the month he staged a coup in 1969, and the word came to signify his coming to power.