Passengers from hijacked Libyan plane leave Malta for home

AP , Saturday 24 Dec 2016

Passengers from plane that was hijacked and diverted to Malta return to Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport, Libya, December 24, 2016. (Reuters)

The passengers from a hijacked Libyan flight that was diverted to Malta have left the Mediterranean island and are returning home.

Malta's interior minister, Carmelo Abela, said the passengers left Malta early Saturday.

Two Libyan hijackers had diverted the domestic flight Friday to demand asylum in Europe and create a new political party in honor of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, officials said. After hours of negotiations, the standoff ended peacefully with the hijackers freeing all 117 people on board and walking off the plane to surrender. The passengers were subsequently interviewed by officials.

Malta police said it was most likely the two hijackers, who had threatened to blow up the plane with hand grenades, would be arraigned Saturday.

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