French jets taking part in Libya war land in Malta

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Two French military aircraft taking part in NATO-led operations against Moamer Kadhafi's regime in Libya had to make emergency landings in Malta on Tuesday, civil aviation authorities said.

A tyre on one of the planes burst as it touched down on the runway with emergency service vehicles standing by. Sources said the planes were armed.

The other had failed to refuel while in flight, the sources said.

Fifteen planes have landed on neutral Malta since operations over Libya started following the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution in March.

Malta has strong contacts with Libya and remained cautious during the conflict, but earlier this month recognised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as "the sole legitimate interlocutor of the Libyan people."

© 2011 AFP

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