Rescued migrants hijack merchant ship off Libya

A merchant ship has been hijacked by refugees and migrants that it had rescued off the coast of Libya, and is now heading towards Malta, the Italian deputy prime minister and Maltese authorities have said.

Corriere della Sera and Italian news agencies reported that 108 people were picked up by the tanker Elhiblu 1, and hijacked the vessel when it became clear that it planned to take them back to Libya.

Six nautical miles from Tripoli it suddenly changed course and headed north towards Europe. Migrants in Libya face trafficking, kidnap, torture and rape, according to the United Nations and aid groups.

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