MALTA Airport has a hijack situation as two men threaten to blow up a Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya.
The Afriqiyah Airways airbus A320 was on an internal flight in Libya with 118 people in board when the attack occurred.
It was forced to divert to Malta after two attackers hijacked the flight and threatened to blow up the plane.
Malta Airport has a hijack situation as Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya lands
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted: “Informed of potential hijack situation of a Libya internal flight diverted to Malta. Security and emergency operations standing by -JM”.
In a brief statement, the Maltese government said that preliminary information indicates that there was a hijack on board.
The plane left Sabha in south-west Libya for Tripoli at 10am
Mr Muscat has also summoned the National Security Committee meeting to convene in Castille.
The plane, flight number 8U209, left Sabha in south-west Libya for Tripoli at 10.10am.
It was scheduled to arrive at 11.20am, but was instead diverted to Malta International Airport, where it landed at 11:32am.
Early reports suggest there are two pro-Gaddafi hijackers on board who have threatened to blow up the plane with a hand-held grenade and keep the passengers hostage if their unknown demands are not met.
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, and the country has been racked by factional violence since.
Armed police have been deployed to the airport
The plan has now been surrounded by armed police
Soldiers took up positions a few hundred metres from the plane as it stood on the tarmac and no one was seen boarding or leaving it.
The aircraft’s engines were still running 45 minutes after it landed in late morning.
The Malta International Airport said in a statement that there was an unlawful interference at the airport and that all emergency teams have been dispatched to the site.
The statement added: “All emergency teams have been dispatched to the site. Passengers are advised to follow www.maltairport.com for updates.”