A Libyan airforce pilot walks next to his Mirage F1 fighter jet after landing at Malta International Airport outside Valletta February 21, 2011. Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly in Malta on Monday, witnesses said. The office of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said it was not clear whether the two fighter pilots intended to ask for asylum. They initially had asked to refuel, it said. Image Credit: Reuters

Valletta: Two Libyan fighter jets with four military personnel on board who said they had escaped Benghazi air base after it was taken over by protesters landed in Malta on Monday, military sources told AFP.

Two civilian helicopters also landed on the Mediterranean island around the same time, carrying seven people who said they were French nationals working on oil rigs near Benghazi, although only one had a passport, the sources said.

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

The fighter jet personnel requested fuel for their aircraft.

All those who have landed are being held at the airport in Malta until their identities are confirmed.