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Government sources in flurry of denials

Government sources said this evening that the government had no information that Aisha Gaddafi, Col Gaddafi’s daughter, was on a plane which was refused permission to land in Malta this afternoon.

They insisted that there was no indication in communications between the aircraft and the control tower, that she was on board the aircraft.

They also denied that the Libyan ambassador was involved in any negotiations for the plane to be allowed to land here, as claimed by sections of the media.

The sources said that Malta had accepted requests from several countries to act as a transit point for the evacuation of their nationals from Libya. These countries include China, the UK, Brazil, Zambia, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States and Austria.

In return these countries will assist Maltese to leave Libya as required.

There are currently 183 Maltese in Libya who have indicated they wish to return. About 100 are in the Tripoli area while the rest are scattered around the country.

The sources denied that any Libyan warship had ever been approaching Malta, as also widely reported in sections of the media yesterday.

On the Libyan pilots who have defected to Malta, the sources said they would be given full protection in terms of Maltese law and they were legally entitled to submit a request for asylum and for that request to be considered.

The sources said the Libyan government was still functioning, to the extent that the Libyan foreign ministry had this evening summoned all ambassadors to a meeting.

The situation at Tripoli airport was described as 'chaotic' with a staggering 13,000 people trying to find aircraft seats.

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