VALLETTA (Reuters) – 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, Reuters witnesses said. Cargo ship Elhiblu 1 had picked up 108 migrants stranded at sea on Wednesday, some of whom then hijacked the vessel when it became clear that it planned to take them back to Libya. Police awaiting the vessel at the port arrested five men and disembarked the remainder of the migrants, including at least 19 women and 12 children, onto buses, a Reuters reporter at the scene said. The migrants, whose nationalities are not known, looked exhausted and some of the younger children were carried off the boat by police officers. Malta’s armed forces said on Thursday that a special operations team backed by fast interceptors craft and a helicopter had taken control of the ship and that it was headed for Valletta. “The captain 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,” the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) said in a statement. Italian… Read full this story
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