Maltese armed forces take control of ship hijacked by migrants

Rescued migrants 'hijack merchant vessel' in Mediterranean to avoid return to Libya, Italy says

Italy and Malta have refused to open their ports to humanitarian ships that rescue migrants at sea, which has created numerous standoffs as European governments haggle over which will take them in.

Salvini said weather conditions were not good and it was too early to tell if the ship was being directed toward Malta or Italy's Lampedusa island.

Over the years, Europe has added new functions to the mission, which also trains the Libyan coastguard and controls the enforcement of a United Nations arms embargo on Libya, and illegal oil trafficking.

Maltese officials were monitoring the situation and were prepared for any eventuality, the spokesperson added.

Malta's navy said that a special operations team has taken control of a tanker that was hijacked by migrants off the coast of Libya.

A Spanish warship helps to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in 2017.

The official also said Malta would not allow the hijacked tanker to enter the country's waters.

The tanker's captain rescued more than 100 people and reported to the aircraft that they "are very upset and do not want to be brought back to Libya".

'Tripoli, however, was the destination port of the cargo ship'. "We do not shirk responsibility despite our size", he said, pledging to follow global rules.

But Italy's right-wing coalition government maintains a harsh policy on migrants.

He says about 120 rescued passengers were on board when the hijacking happened.

The ongoing dispute over migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe has quieted down a bit of late.

Sea-Eye said the European Union was putting an end to sea rescue.

"Immigration is managed by criminals and should be blocked by any legal means necessary", Salvini was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.

"They are pirates", Salvini said in Italian in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

The tanker was about 30 nautical miles (55.5km) from Malta when the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) established communications with the captain. Four migrants were taken off the tanker in handcuffs. The bloc's Operation Sophia has worked to reduce migrant-smuggling, train the Libyan coast guard and enforce an arms embargo on Libya. Several police vans were parked on shore waiting to take the migrants into custody.

"We have been told the migrants on board the vessel were fearful of being returned to Libyan detention centres where they could face violations at the hands of people smugglers", Abdelwahed said.

Matteo Salvini, the country's hardline interior minister, has condemned the migrants as "pirates".

The European Union has been training the Libyan coast guard in the hope that it will prevent migrants from entering global waters, where they have routinely been rescued, either by commercial ships or those run by humanitarian groups filling in the void after member countries significantly scaled down an EU operation in the Mediterranean. If they pick up a large number of people from a floundering vessel and even a few of them have weapons, it probably wouldn't be that hard of a trick to pull off. After returning control of the ship to its captain, the AFM are now escorting the ship to Boiler Wharf and is expected to dock imminently.

A group of migrants has "hijacked" a merchant ship that appears to be heading towards Malta, the Armed Forces of Malta said on Wednesday.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Nicolas Cage reportedly files for annulment four days after marriage
Furthermore, in case they will not grant him the annulment, the papers also show he requested a divorce as a plan B. Prior to this week's events, Cage's shortest marriage to date was to Lisa Marie Presley , which lasted three months.

Miley Cyrus resurrects Hannah Montana, causes social media frenzy
The new look doesn't appear to have any real connection to a Hannah Montana comeback or anything. This next picture is going to bring the inner child out of you.

Apple Launches, Next Generation Credit Card, Name: "Apple Card"
It is typically possible to pay money off whenever you like of course, but it isn't always easy to see what's coming and going. Pricing for Apple TV + hasn't been announced, but Apple said the service would be available in more than 100 countries.

The Relationship between Procrastination and Creativity
Therefore despite the fact that the two are a great combination, too much of the delay can cause the creativity to be a flop. The Bad Side Despite the fact that creativity and procrastination work well together, too much of delay can be deadly.

Other news