UPDATE: The hijackers are now letting the passengers out of the aircraft.

MALTA (WeAreChange) —  An Afriqiyah Airways A320 airliner was on a domestic flight in Libya when it was reportedly hijacked by at least two individuals claiming to be armed with hand grenades on Friday and diverted to Malta, where it landed with 118 people on board.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted:

Is is alleged that one hijacker told the crew he was “pro-Gaddafi” and that he was willing to let all 111 passengers leave the Airbus A320, but not the seven crew members, if his demands were met, according to the Times of Malta.

According to the Prime Minister Muscat, there are 82 males, 27 females and 1 infant plus the 7 staff members on board the aircraft.

At this point in time, it is unclear what demands are being made. However, it is understood that the hijackers have made threats to blow up the aircraft.

A Libyan security official told Reuters that the pilot told Tripoli Airport Control before communications were lost that the pilot tried to land in Libya but the hijackers refused.

AFM soldiers were seen taking up positions a few hundred meters away from the plane as it stood idle on the tarmac and no one was seen boarding or leaving it. The aircraft’s engines were still running 45 minutes after it landed late morning, the Times of Malta said.

All other flights at Malta International Airport were canceled or diverted, it said.

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 tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, a European Union member, is about 500 km (300 miles) north of Tripoli.

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising triggered by U.S. intervention in 2011, and the country has been torn apart by factional violence ever since.

According to Times of Malta, this is apparently the first major hijack in Malta since 1985.

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