Hijackers who snatched a Boeing 727 aircraft with 161 people on board from a routine domestic flight in Libya, and diverted it to Malta, have continued their efforts to obtain more fuel.
GV PAN Aircraft on tarmac ZOOM ACROSS runway TO parked car...Negotiator and hijackers' spokesman speak (SOT)
GV Airport buildings with journalists in foreground. Negotiator and spokesman speak (SOT) (2 shots)
SCU Aircraft cockpit, with soldier in foreground. Negotiator and spokesman talk (SOT)
SVs Military vehicles and personnel at airport entrance. Negotiations continue (SOT) (3 shots)
GV PAN Airport to aircraft. Talks continue (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT FOR SEQUENCES 1-5):
NEGOTIATOR: "Unless the hijackers give....unless he receives an apology, for the (indistinct) yesterday, we can not give them any conditions. We did not give them any conditions before clearing them to land. That is the first part. The second part is that we have (indistinct)....we will not, we will not tell you the contents of this message, unless the women and children on board are released."
SPOKESMAN: "OK comrade. (Speaks in Arabic) they are saying, if you, if Morocco give us political asylum, and then you will give us the fuel, we promise to release the aircraft with all the passengers." (REPEATS LAST SENTENCE).
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Hijackers who snatched a Boeing 727 aircraft with 161 people on board from a routine domestic flight in Libya, and diverted it to Malta, have continued their efforts to obtain more fuel. On February 22, they released a woman steward, with a message for Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, asking for food and water for the 30 children aboard the aircraft. The hijackers threatened to blow up the plane and kill all hostages unless they were given enough fuel to fly to Morocco, and demanded to talk to the Moroccan ambassador. During negotiations with the hijackers, conducted from Luqa airport conning tower, a spokesman for the Maltese authorities said they would read out a message from Morocco if the women and children were released. This offer was refused, but the hijackers said they would let all the hostages go, if they were given fuel. This was rejected by Interior Minister, Mr Lorry Sant. Security round the airport was tight, and no supplies of food or water have been permitted on to the plane since it landed on February 20. The identity of the hijackers was not known, but Reuters said it was believed there were six on board, and that most of the hostages were Libyan nationals. A Libyan Airlines plane was last hijacked in December 1981, when Lebanese Shi'ite Moslem gunmen took over a Boeing 727 with 36 passengers. They later surrendered in Teheran.