Libyan plane hijacked, lands in Malta
A Maltese military vehicle stands near a hijacked Libyan Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 on the runway at Malta Airport, December 23, 2016. REUTERS/Darrin Zamit-Lupi

UPDATE: Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said the hijackers have released 25 passengers from Libyan plane. The released passengers are women and children.

The Libyan government has confirmed that the hijacked Afriqiyah Airways flight has landed in Malta. The aircraft has 118 people on board. The hijackers have greandes with them and they are threatening to blow up the Libyan state owned airliner, Malta state TV said.

There are conflicting repors about the number of hijackers inside the plane. While the Libyan government sad there are two hijackers, the Maltese authorities told international news agencies there is only one hijacker, who is armed with a grenade.

The flight operated by Libya's national carrier was flying from Sebha in southwest Libya to capital Tripoli. The Airbus A320 aircraft has 111 passengers and seven crew members on board. Among the passengers are 28 women and an infant.

The hijacker has not revealed his demand for releasing the plane and the passengers. He told the plane's crew that he was "pro-Gaddafi", Reuters reported. According to reports the hijacker said he woudl release the 111 passengers if his demands are met. Howeverr, he has apparently not agrred to releasing the crew.

Maltese security personnel took position around the aircraft at a distance of "a few hundred metres but no one was seen boarding or alighting the aircraft.

"Informed of potential hijack situation of a #Libya internal flight diverted to #Malta. Security and emergency operations standing by -JM", Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted.