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Eight held in Malta by forces investigating journalist's murder

Eight suspects have been arrested over the October 16 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s prime minister has said.

Joseph Muscat said in a statement that the suspects, all Maltese citizens, were arrested on Monday morning in an operation coordinated among the Police Corps, the Armed Forces of Malta and the Security Services.

He said the arrests resulted from the inquiry over recent weeks and that investigators have 48 hours to question the suspects to decide whether to seek charges.

He provided no other concrete information about the arrests or suspects, citing concerns that anything he says could derail any prosecution.

Ms Caruana Galizia, whose reporting focused heavily on corruption on the EU island nation, was killed when a bomb destroyed her car as she was driving near her home.

Europol, the European Union’s police agency, sent a team of organised crime experts to help Maltese police investigate the assassination, joining the FBI and Dutch forensic experts.

Just before her death, Ms Caruana Galizia, 53, had posted on her closely followed blog, Running Commentary, that there were "crooks everywhere" in Malta.

The island nation has a reputation as a tax haven in the European Union and has attracted companies and money from outside Europe.

The journalist focused her reporting for years on investigating political corruption and scandals, and reported on Maltese mobsters and drug trafficking.

She also wrote about Maltese links to the so-called Panama Papers leaks about offshore financial havens.

AP