EgyptAir hijacker arrested: Cyprus officials

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A hijacker who seized an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Cyprus has been detained, officials said on Tuesday.

“The hijacker has just been arrested,” Cypriot government spokesperson Nicos Christodoulides said on Twitter, without providing further details.

A man emerged from the aircraft and then walked across the tarmac with his hands up to two awaiting counter-terrorism police officers, a correspondent reported.

They laid him on the ground and searched him for around two minutes before taking him away.

The hijacker had claimed to be wearing an explosives belt when he took over the plane.

Earlier, a man thought to be strapped with explosives hijacked an Egyptian plane on a flight between Alexandria and Cairo and forced it to land in Cyprus.

hijacker

After the EgyptAir plane landed at Larnaca airport, the hijacker released all the people onboard except five foreign passengers and the crew, EgyptAir said.

About 60 people, including seven crew, had been onboard, Egyptian and Cypriot officials said. Since the release of passengers, more have said to be released.

The Guardian quoted a foreign ministry official in Cairo, “He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot. Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is.”

“It is not something which has to do with terrorism,” Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters.

Asked if a woman was involved he said, “There is always a woman involved.”

Cyprus’ foreign ministry has identified the hijacker as Seif Eldin Mustafa in a tweet. It did not provide further details.

“The situation is still ongoing,” it said.

egyptair hijack

Earlier, two Cypriot broadcasters reported the hijacker had dropped a letter on the apron of Larnaca airport that appeared to be demanding the release of prisoners in Egypt. Egyptian state media had earlier identified the hijacker as a different man.

Passengers on the plane included eight Britons and 10 Americans, three security sources at Alexandria airport said.

Israel scrambled warplanes in its airspace as a precaution in response to the hijacking, according to an Israeli military source.

Egypt’s vital tourism industry was already reeling from the crash of a Russian passenger plane in the Sinai in late October.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said it was brought down by a terrorist attack. Islamic State has said it planted a bomb on board, killing all 224 people on board.

1 COMMENT

  1. Why so distorted info. still, however, authorities seems to know everything about this guy..Strange reporting since it happened…

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