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All 109 passengers of hijacked Libyan airliner released

December 23, 2016, 16:53 UTC+3

Hijackers forcing a Libyan plane to land in Malta have released the crew members, the Maltese prime minister said

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© TVM via AP

MOSCOW, December 23./TASS/. "Further 44 passengers are being released," the prime minister of Malta has written on Twitter.

Thus all 109 passengers of the hijacked plane have been released. The crew members are leaving the aircraft, according to Muscat.

"Crew members being released. Potentially 2 hijackers and some crew members still on board aircraft." he wrote on Twitter.

The crew members are leaving the aircraft.

All passengers of plane are safe, no one has been hurt, the Libyan ambassador to Malta said, according to the Afrigatenews website.

"Libya’s secret services have been in close contact with Malta’s authorities," the ambassador said. According to some reports, the hijackers are supporters of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and demand his son Saif al-Islam be released from jail.

The hijackers originally planned to travel to Rome, the pilot said, according to the Italian RAI news 24 TV channel.

The Afriqiyah Airways flight, on service from Libya’s southwestern city of Sabha to the capital, Tripoli, was taken over by two hijackers on Friday morning. They demanded the plane head to Malta, 500 kilometers from Libya’s coast. There were 111 passengers (82 men, 28 women and a child) and seven crew members on board.

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