Malta seizes ship hijacked by migrants

Maltese army forces and migrants pictured on board the hijacked tanker in Valletta.

(CNN)Malta says its navy has seized control of a tanker ship hijacked by migrants in the Mediterranean, according to a government statement.

"The Captain repeatedly stated that he was not in control of the vessel and that he and his crew were being forced and threatened by a number of migrants to proceed to Malta. AFM Patrol Vessel P21 stopped the tanker from entering the Maltese territorial waters," a Maltese government statement said.
Maltese authorities established contact with the ship's captain when the tanker was about 30 nautical miles off the coast.
    A special operations unit was dispatched to board and secure the vessel.
    The tanker, with crew and migrants onboard, was escorted to Boiler Wharf in Valletta harbour, southeastern Malta, where police will carry out "further investigations."
    The vessel rescued 108 migrants off the coast of Libya, according to Reuters.
    They hijacked the ship when the captain made clear that he would return them to the country, the news agency added.
    108 migrants were rescued by the tanker off the coast of Libya.