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2 Libyan Colonels Flee Country in Fighter Jets, After Reports They Were Told to Fire on Protesters

VALLETTA, Malta (The Blaze/AP) -- Two Libyan air force jets have arrived in Malta and military officials say their pilots have asked for political asylum amid a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters in Libya.

The Times of Malta claims to have video of the jets, and says the pilots escaped Libya after being ordered to fire on protesters:

The two Mirage jets arrived Monday shortly after two civilian helicopters landed at the airport carrying seven people who said they were French.

A military source familiar with the situation said the jet pilots, Libyan air force colonels, were allowed to land after they communicated from the air that they wanted asylum. They had left from a base near Tripoli and had flown low over Libyan airspace to avoid detection.

The aircraft remain at Malta's airport while the pilots and helicopter passengers are being questioned by airport immigration officials.

The news comes as Al Jazeera is reporting that some military jets have actually fired on the protesters. That report has not been independently verified, however.

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