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Maltese soldiers seize small tanker hijacked by migrants, vessel docks at Valletta

Updated : 2019-03-28 17:04:34

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, a Reuters witness said. Cargo ship Elhiblu 1 had picked up 108 migrants stranded at sea, some of whom then hijacked the vessel when it became clear that it planned to take them back to Libya. Maltese police arrested four men and the remainder of the migrants were disembarked and boarded onto buses, the witness said. A Maltese military patrol boat stopped the ship from entering Maltese waters and a special operations team was then dispatched to board and secure the vessel, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) said in a statement on Thursday.

The merchant ship Elhiblu 1 arrives in Senglea in Valletta’s Grand Harbour, Malta, . (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
The merchant ship Elhiblu 1 arrives in Senglea in Valletta’s Grand Harbour, Malta, . (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
Maltese special forces soldiers are seen on the merchant ship Elhiblu 1 after it arrived in Senglea in Valletta's Grand Harbour. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
Maltese special forces soldiers are seen on the merchant ship Elhiblu 1 after it arrived in Senglea in Valletta's Grand Harbour. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards a migrant on the merchant ship Elhiblu 1 after it arrived in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards a migrant on the merchant ship Elhiblu 1 after it arrived in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards a group of migrants on the merchant ship Elhiblu 1 after it arrived in Senglea in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards a group of migrants on the merchant ship Elhiblu 1 after it arrived in Senglea in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards a group of migrants on the merchant ship. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards a group of migrants on the merchant ship. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards migrants on Elhiblu 1. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
A Maltese special forces soldier guards migrants on Elhiblu 1. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)
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