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Passengers from Hijacked Libyan Plane Leave Malta for Home

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — The passengers from a hijacked Libyan flight that was diverted to Malta have left the Mediterranean island and are returning home.

Malta’s interior minister, Carmelo Abela, said the passengers left Malta early Saturday.

Two Libyan hijackers had diverted the domestic flight Friday to demand asylum in Europe and create a new political party in honor of the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi, officials said. After hours of negotiations, the standoff ended peacefully with the hijackers freeing all 117 people on board and walking off the plane to surrender. The passengers were subsequently interviewed by officials.

Malta police said it was most likely the two hijackers, who had threatened to blow up the plane with hand grenades, would be arraigned Saturday.

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