Defection: Libyan pilots ordered to bomb protesters

2011-02-21 21:26

Valletta - The pilots of two Libyan fighter jets who landed in Malta on Monday said they had defected after they were ordered to bomb protesters in Benghazi, Maltese military and official sources told AFP.

The two men told Maltese military officers on the ground that they were senior colonels in the Libyan air force and one of them requested asylum, as they were getting out of their single-seater Mirage F1 jets.

"One of the pilots requested political asylum," a government spokesperson said.

"The two pilots are being held by police for further investigations," the Maltese government said in a statement.

Malta is the closest European state to Libya, located just 340km north of Libyan shores.

Two French-registered Super Puma civilian helicopters also landed on the Mediterranean island around the same time, carrying seven passengers who said they were French nationals working on oil rigs near Benghazi.

The markings on the two helicopters were for Heli Union - a company specialising in air transport for oil and gas companies.

The helicopters were given permission to land in Malta but had not been given clearance to leave Libya, indicating they had escaped, the sources said.

The people from the two helicopters are also being held pending an inquiry.

  • lmduplessis - 2011-02-21 21:39

    Kudos to the pilots for Defecting rather than bombing civilians.

  • threezero - 2011-02-21 21:43

    Could this be the end of Ghadafi? Must be a huge blow for the ANC, since they are such good buddies.

      W H Kotze - 2011-02-21 23:40

      He will probably be allowed to pitch his tent in the garden of the Union Buildings. Will save the tax payers his up-keep in the State Guest House.

  • Bothwell - 2011-02-21 21:43

    watch out zimbabwe the soldiers u send to beat us the pilots,snipers and border gezi thugs are our brothers they will soon make sense of reality hats off to these libyan pilots they are true heroes Caddafi u are history!

  • Nice Guy - 2011-02-21 21:47

    Lazy bastards. They jus didn't feel like working anymore

      Simon - 2011-02-22 08:00

      How dare you say that.Killing innocent people is crime against humanity.Go back to your black hole.Alukabar

  • Mxhuma - 2011-02-21 21:48

    It is getting jucier every hour! Who is next?

  • Ross - 2011-02-21 21:48

    Jan Smuts also bombed the white miners during the 1922 miners strike. He also pounded them with heavy artillery. We had a scoundril long before Libya's Kaddafi.

      mike - 2011-02-21 22:57

      Dude really, trust me go through history we not so special, there lots of them!

  • mgv4life - 2011-02-21 21:49

    This revolution will be piloted, even by the army. Once again...the people shall govern

  • Richard - 2011-02-21 22:17

    great aircraft that Mirage F1. Wish they'd landed at my place.

  • lldoidge - 2011-02-21 22:18

    This government better be very worried. All these revolutions are being led by the youth who are unemployed with no hope for the future. They use technology to plan and plot. With the high youth unemployment in this country we could go the same way. Are you listening Malema????

      Grunt - 2011-02-21 22:42

      Trouble is coming, surely. But the vast majority of youths in this country lack the necessary intelligence to plan and do not have the education to plot. They are simply cannon fodder and someone will use them that way.

      mike - 2011-02-21 22:59

      I think you guys lack the int too, why revolt when you can just vote! That thing they apparently fought for and now have no idea how to use!

  • Shane - 2011-02-21 22:40

    hang Ghadafi up side down by his toes

  • Willem G - 2011-02-21 23:33

    So - the friend of Mugabe and our very own ANC deploys his armed forces against his own people not to mention the mercenaries supplied by African countries... Should we be afraid? I think so. 'n Mens word aan jou vriende geken.

      Frank - 2011-02-22 08:55

      So you can just fly a Mirage to any country and land then?

  • wgibsonsa - 2011-02-22 12:01

    I am sure the SA taxpayer will look after this bum hole.

      Jhan - 2011-02-23 15:03

      I am afraid you might be right as they will be calling in favors from South Africa now .. I certainly hope you are wrong for all our sakes .

  • ad7863 - 2011-02-22 13:32

    It's stories like these which restore my faith in humanity.

  • ad7863 - 2011-02-22 13:34

    It's stories like these which restore my faith in humanity.

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