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Soldiers seize tanker hijacked by migrants

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 28, 2019 - Duration: 01:09s

Soldiers seize tanker hijacked by migrants

A small tanker that was hijacked by migrants off Libya docked in Malta's port of Valletta on Thursday after Maltese special forces took control of the vessel.

Emily Wither reports.

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Soldiers seize tanker hijacked by migrants

This small tanker first rescued migrants off Libya and then was hijacked by them.

A hundred and eight migrants were picked up by the cargo ship after becoming stranded at sea.

But when it became clear the vessel planned to take them back to Libya some of the migrants took matters in to their own hands.

The captain of the boat had 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.

Local police arrested four men once the ship docked there.

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister said they would not have opened its ports to "criminals" who had committed an act of piracy.

It comes as the EU says it'll cease its ship patrols that have rescued thousands of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa.

NGO groups called the decision shameful.

They say it'll see more people taken back to Libya despite knowing that people are exposed to widespread torture, killings, and exploitation there.

And place a further burden on commercial vessels.

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