Libyan Mirage F.1s on Malta

Two Libyan Air Force Mirage fighter jets unexpectedly flew to Malta on 21 February 2011 with their pilots claiming they escaped to Malta after having been ordered to bomb protesters who have taken control of the second city of Benghazi. The pilots told the Maltese authorities that they left from a base near Tripoli. They are being questioned by the Police. The pilots initially asked for emergency clearance to land and for refueling. Also flying to Malta were two civilian Puma helicopters which flew out of Libya and landed at Malta International Airport today afternoon carrying seven people. Informed sources said the helicopters 'escaped from Libya with no official clearance'. Such was the haste of their departure from Libya, that only one of the passengers was carrying a passport. The passengers claimed to be French. Immigration Police are checking the identities of the passengers while holding them at the airport. Thumbnail link codes to the full size images via

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