Malta dealing with ‘potential hijack’ of Libyan plane, prime minister says

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(CNN) — Authorities in Malta are dealing with the “potential hijack” of a Libyan airliner with more than 100 people on board, the country’s prime minister said Friday.

The plane, an internal Libyan flight operated by Afriqiyah Airways, landed at Malta’s international airport, where emergency and security personnel were waiting.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted that he had been “informed of potential hijack situation of a Libya internal flight diverted to Malta. Security and emergency operations standing by.”

In another tweet he said that the plane was carrying 111 passengers, including one infant. The French news agency AFP said an additional seven crew members were on board.

The plane was on service from Sabha, a city in southwestern Libya, to the capital, Tripoli.

A Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs communications officer, Etienne Saint John, told CNN that security personnel were on the scene.

“There is an ongoing meeting at the Prime Minister’s office regarding the plane.”

According to the airport’s website, several flights had been diverted to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport in Italy.

All outbound flights have been held.

Developing story – more to come.

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