BREAKING: Libyan passenger plane hijacked by 2 pro-Gaddafi supporters armed with grenades

A Libyan passenger plane has been hijacked by two pro-Gaddafi supporters threatening to blow the aircraft up.

Maltese state TV said the men on board were armed with hand grenades that they would detonate if their demands – as yet unknown – were not met.

The Libyan Afriqiyah Airways A320 plane is believed to have 118 people on board, with the hijacking first confirmed by Malta’s Prime Minister on Twitter.

Joseph Muscat wrote that he has been told of the hijacking of an internal Libyan flight travelling from Sebha to Tripoli which was diverted to Malta mid-flight.

It is understood the plane’s engines are still running and there are 111 passengers and 7 crew members onboard. Maltese armed forces are yet to approach the aircraft.

It is unknown whether this photograph of the hijacked plane's cockpit shows one of the hijackers or the aircraft's pilots

It is unknown whether this photograph of the hijacked plane’s cockpit shows one of the hijackers or the aircraft’s pilots

A Libyan passenger plane has been hijacked by two pro-Gaddafi supporters armed with hand grenades, it has been reported

A Libyan passenger plane has been hijacked by two pro-Gaddafi supporters armed with hand grenades, it has been reported

A plane has landed in Malta after it was hijacked, the country’s Prime Minister has confirmed

Joseph Muscat wrote on Twitter that he has been told of a potential hijack situation of an internal Libyan flight diverted to Malta

Joseph Muscat wrote on Twitter that he has been told of a potential hijack situation of an internal Libyan flight diverted to Malta

The plan set off from Sebha in Libya and was due to land in Tripoli, but instead carried on to the island of Malta further north

The plan set off from Sebha in Libya and was due to land in Tripoli, but instead carried on to the island of Malta further north

Differing reports suggested between one and two hijackers are onboard, with at least one claiming to be in possession of a hand grenade, the Times of Malta said.

They are said to be part of the pro-Gaddafi group Al Fatah Al Gadida and willing to let all passengers leave the plane if their demands – which are unclear – are met.

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, and the country has been racked by factional violence since.

The Malta airport authority said all emergency teams have been dispatched to the site of what it called an ‘unlawful interference’ on the airport tarmac.

A later tweet by the Maltese Prime Minister confirmed that there was 82 males and 28 females onboard, including 1 infant.

The tiny Mediterranean island of Malta is about 300 miles north of the Libyan coast.

The aircraft had been flying from Sebha in southwest Libya to Tripoli for state-owned Afriqiyah Airways, a route that would usually take a little over two hours.

The last time a hijacked plane landed in Malta was in 1985, when EgyptAir Flight 648 was taken over by three Palestinian members of the terrorist group Abu Nidal.

The subsequent raid on the aircraft by Egyptian troops resulted in the death of 58 passengers, with only one of the three hijackers surviving.

The hijacking of planes was a common tactic by terrorist organisations during the last 20th century, most notoriously when two aircraft were flown into New York’s Twin Towers in September 2001.

Maltese troops survey a hijacked Libyan Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 on the runway at Malta Airport

Maltese troops survey a hijacked Libyan Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 on the runway at Malta Airport

Joseph Muscat wrote on Twitter that he has been told of a potential hijack situation of an internal Libyan flight diverted to Malta

Joseph Muscat wrote on Twitter that he has been told of a potential hijack situation of an internal Libyan flight diverted to Malta

The Malta airport authority said all emergency teams have been dispatched to the site of what it called an 'unlawful interference' on the airport tarmac

The Malta airport authority said all emergency teams have been dispatched to the site of what it called an ‘unlawful interference’ on the airport tarmac

In March 2015, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked himself in a cockpit of Germanwings Flight 9525 when captain went out for a rest.

He then started to descend the aircraft, and after eight minutes of falling it crashed into the Alps near the French village Prads-Haute-Bléone, killing 150 people.

A year later, in March 2016, EgyptCyprus Flight MS181 was taken over after a passenger said he was wearing an explosives belt and was diverted to Larnaca.

The hijacker surrendered after hours of negotiations with no causalities to passengers or crew.

Armed Maltese soldiers stand guard outside the plane
The plane's route

Armed Maltese soldiers stand guard outside the plane (left), which arrived in Malta on Friday morning

Maltese armed forces were pictured surrounding the hijacked plane at Malta's airport

Maltese armed forces were pictured surrounding the hijacked plane at Malta’s airport

Differing reports suggested between one and two hijackers are on board, with at least one claiming to be in possession of a hand grenade

Differing reports suggested between one and two hijackers are on board, with at least one claiming to be in possession of a hand grenade

Gunmen Hijack APC Governorship Primaries In Bayelsa

Pandemonium broke out on Tuesday morning in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, as gunmen and suspected cultists hijacked the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

19 aspirants were expected to contest in the primaries, but trouble broke out when the former Governor of the state and party leader, Timipre Sylva, suddenly picked up a form and joined the race.

The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who conducted the primaries, had ordered the arrest of Mr Fortune Panabi, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, for allegedly accrediting unknown delegates for the exercise.

However, three of the aspirants, Timi Alaibe, Editimi Angbare and Priye Aganaba, called for a shift in the exercise, saying that the atmosphere was not conducive for a proper primary to hold.

Read More: channelstv

24-yr-old American Pilot Steals Plane, Disappears Over Pacific Ocean (Photo)

A California flight instructor’s puzzling disappearance continues to baffle investigators 11 days after he stole a plane and vanished over the Pacific Ocean.

“It’s a mystery, and it will continue to be until something pops,” Palo Alto police Sgt. Brian Philip told the Daily News.

Pilot William McAdams was last seen on May 8 at an airport in Palo Alto. Surveillance video showed the 24-year-old between 1 and 2 a.m. before he slipped off with his employer’s Cessna G1000 Skyhawk.

A faint radar blip registered later about 70 miles off the California coast, but it wasn’t strong enough to pinpoint a location, NY Daily News reports.

And then he was gone — literally off the radar. He left no note, and police have turned up nothing as they stalk his social media accounts, cellphone records and bank accounts for any sign of activity.

“There’s not enough for us to even know where to search,” Philip said.

McAdams was arrested in April on serious charges in Florida. He pleaded not guilty to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery and was released on $16,000 bail on April 27.

McAdams is due back in court on June 2, if anyone can find him.

Ballot Boxes Hijacked and Shattered by NLC Delegates

The 11th National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress was on Thursday abruptly disrupted as aggrieved parties hijack, and smash ballot boxes being used to elect incoming leaders of the organisation, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.

The International Conference Centre’s venue of the conference was thrown into confusion as delegates ran for dear lives after some aggrieved contestants and their supporters suddenly became violent, hijacking and destroying ballot boxes even while voting was still underway.

The Conference, which began Tuesday, was organised to elect new leaders for the country’s central labour union following the expiration of tenure of the current executives.

It is not clear yet how the event, which had been peaceful since it began suddenly descended into crisis, but the election for the President of the Union had created tension among delegates and split them along partisan lines.

After the disruption, the police took over the venue and delegates were sent away, ostensibly to protect the facility from being vandalised.

Over 3 000 delegates commenced voting on Thursday as the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero and the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Wabba Ayuba, presented themselves for election to replace Adbulwaheed Omar.

With the outcome of the delegates conference, the NLC appears to be heading for a major division.

Credit: news24.com.ng