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Malta's army takes control of small tanker hijacked by migrants

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 28, 2019 - Duration: 00:32s

Malta's army takes control of small tanker hijacked by migrants

Maltese soldiers have taken control of a small tanker that was hijacked by migrants it had rescued off Libya, with the ship arriving at a dock in Malta afterwards, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) said in a statement on Thursday (March 28).

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Malta's army takes control of small tanker hijacked by migrants

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Maltese soldiers have taken control of a small tanker that was hijacked by migrants it had rescued off Libya, with the ship arriving at a dock in Malta afterwards, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) said in a statement on Thursday (March 28).

The 108 migrants were picked up by the cargo ship Elhiblu 1 and hijacked the vessel when it became clear that it planned to take them back to Libya.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday (March 27) that Italy would not have opened its ports to “criminals” who had committed an act of piracy.

The AFM said it established contact with the vessel’s captain when the tanker was 30 nautical miles off Malta.

“The captain repeatedly stated that he was not in control of the vessel and that he and his crew were being forced and threatened by a number of migrants to proceed to Malta,” the AFM added.

The army said one of its patrol boats stopped the ship from entering Maltese waters and a special operations team was then dispatched to board and secure the vessel.

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