Real-life hijacking at Malta airport stops shooting of movie on hijacking | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Real-life hijacking at Malta airport stops shooting of movie on hijacking

A film being shot at Malta airport about a plane hijacking was disrupted amid the real hijacking of a Libyan Airbus A320 on Friday.

world Updated: Dec 24, 2016 15:01 IST
HT Correspondent
Maltese special forces soldiers approach a hijacked Libyan Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 on the runway at Malta International Airport.
Maltese special forces soldiers approach a hijacked Libyan Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 on the runway at Malta International Airport.(Reuters Photo)

A film being shot at Malta airport about a plane hijacking was disrupted amid the real hijacking of a Libyan Airbus A320 on Friday.

According to a BBC report the film crew was forced to stop the shooting of the movie as the hijacked Libyan Afriqiyah Airways plane landed at Malta International Airport.

“We’ve had five hijackings landing here and ironically today they were actually filming Entebbe on the airport grounds - and that had to be stopped,” Magda Magri Naudi, the mayor of Lija told the BBC.

The movie - Entebbe - is based on a hostage situation that occurred 40 years ago in Uganda.

In 1976, an Air France aircraft carrying 250 passengers - many of who were Israeli - and 12 crew members was hijacked and flown to Uganda’s Entebbe airport. The hijackers demanded that release of 54 militants held by Israel and four other countries and a $5m ransom.

The Ugandan government supported the hijackers, and dictator Idi Amin personally welcomed them.

In one of the most daring operations in its history, Israel secretly dispatched a unit of elite commandos - led by Yonatan Netanyahu, the brother of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - to rescue the hostages.

They flew eight-and-a-half-hours over 4,000km, through hostile territory and beneath the scope of enemy radar, to mount a surprise raid.

The Israeli forces freed 105 hostages killing about eight hostage-takers and 20 Ugandan troops.

Very different ending

In Friday’s incident the two hijackers, both Libyan nationals claimed to be acting in the name of the country’s former ruler, Moammar Gaddafi.

Yet unlike most Gaddafi-era airline dramas, this one was resolved easily. Within hours of landing in Malta, the two hijackers had released the other 115 people aboard and had surrendered peacefully to the Maltese authorities.

Their weapons — a pistol and a grenade — turned out to be replicas. Libyan officials said the two men had asked for visas to Europe.