Europe

Passengers from hijacked Libyan plane leave Malta for home

  • A man with a green flag is helped out an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya standing on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Two hijackers diverted a Libyan commercial plane to Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, Maltese authorities and state media said.  (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)

    A man with a green flag is helped out an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya standing on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Two hijackers diverted a Libyan commercial plane to Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, Maltese authorities and state media said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)  (The Associated Press)

  • This Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 photo shows a man with raised arms, left, standing next to an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya stopped on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport. Two hijackers diverted a Libyan commercial plane to Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, Maltese authorities and state media said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)

    This Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 photo shows a man with raised arms, left, standing next to an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya stopped on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport. Two hijackers diverted a Libyan commercial plane to Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, Maltese authorities and state media said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya, left, stands on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Malta's state television says two hijackers who diverted a Libyan commercial plane to the Mediterranean island nation have threatened to blow it up. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)

    An Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya, left, stands on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Malta's state television says two hijackers who diverted a Libyan commercial plane to the Mediterranean island nation have threatened to blow it up. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)  (The Associated Press)

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.