EgyptAir passenger plane hijacked, forced to Cyprus

Photo: www.wpxi.com

An Egyptair domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked on Tuesday and landed in Cyprus, Egyptian officials and Cyprus radio said.

The Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry, in a statement, said that the pilot, Omar al-Gammal, had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger, who possessed a suicide belt, and forced him to land in Larnaca.

“The pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives. The plane was an Airbus 320,” the Egypt’s aviation ministry said.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CYBC) reported that 55 passengers were on board and a crew of seven.

It said that the hijack occurred in Cyprus’ flight information region, and the airliner was diverted to Larnaca.

According to the CYBC, the hijacker who forced an EgyptAir flight heading to Cairo from Alexandria to land in Cyprus, is thought to be strapped with explosives.

The CYBC said that the airplane was parked at an apron at Larnaca Airport, and the hijacker asked police to back away from the aircraft.

The civil Aviation Authority and police source confirmed that one person hijacked the EgyptAir plane.

Reports say the hijacker, a university professor, has asked to see his ex-wife in Cyprus. The woman is said to be on her way to the airport.

Meanwhile, negotiators have succeeded in having many passengers released.

(Reuters/NAN)

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