The AFM has confirmed that a merchant ship that saved migrants from the sea in Libyan territorial waters.

Attempts to contact the ship have been made but have had no response.  It is most probably being ignored by the hijackers or the radio equipment has been turned off or destroyed. The AFM is now tracking the position of the ship to be able to intercept it once it enters Maltese waters.

Reports state that the ship attempted to help the migrants but as soon as they realised they were being taken back to Libya they took over the ship by force and changed its course to Malta.

In a statement Italian Home Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini said that they will not be allowed to enter Italy

More updates as the storey develops