Libyan plane hijackers surrender

| Updated: Dec 24, 2016 03:04 IST

Malta, Dec. 23(ANI): Two hijackers, who diverted a Libyan plane to Malta on Friday threatened to blow up the aircraft, have surrendered themselves to authorities after releasing everyone on board and leaving the plane. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the hijackers had been taken in custody, bringing the dramatic incident to an end. "Hijackers surrendered, searched and taken in custody," he tweeted. The Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320, on a domestic service in Libya, was carrying 111 passengers, he added. Etienne Saint John, a spokesman for Malta's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Malta's armed forces had led the negotiations with the hijackers. Deadly clashes still erupt there between tribes loyal to Gadhafi and anti-Gaddafi groups. Enmity runs deep between the Gaddadfa and Suleiman tribes, the most powerful armed factions in the region, according to CNN. Gadhafi, who was a member of the Gaddadfa tribe, was ousted from power and assassinated by rebels in 2011 in the Arab Spring uprising. Libya has struggled to install a stable government since then, and the leadership vacuum has allowed militant groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda to flourish there.(ANI)