AP reports that two Libyan air force jets arrived in Malta today. Military officials say their pilots have asked for political asylum amid a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters in Libya, in which air force pilots were ordered to fire on civilian demonstrators (see previous BB post). Apparently, these pilots refused to follow those orders.
Above: a Libyan airforce pilot walks next to his Mirage F1 fighter jet after landing at Malta International Airport outside Valletta today.
Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly. The office of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said at the time it was not clear whether the two fighter pilots intended to ask for asylum—they later did. They initially had asked to refuel.
(REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)