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EgyptAir Hijack Live: 'Idiot' hijacker arrested, all hostages released, Cyprus foreign ministry confirms

Egypt's civil aviation authority says an EgyptAir plane has been hijacked while flying from the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria to the capital, Cairo.

Aparna Chandrashekar March 29, 2016 17:32:40 IST
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EgyptAir Hijack Live: 'Idiot' hijacker arrested, all hostages released, Cyprus foreign ministry confirms

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:33 (IST)

'He is not a terrorist, he's an idiot'

The Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the Egypt plane hijacking was not related to “terrorism”.

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

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:27 (IST)

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:26 (IST)

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:26 (IST)

Hijacker emerges with hands held up

Reuters, meanwhile, reported that the hijacker was seen emerging from EgyptAir flight MS181. Quoting Cyprus broadcaster, Reuters reported: EgyptAir hijacker emerging from aircraft with hands held up: Cyprus broadcaster

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:24 (IST)

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:18 (IST)

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:16 (IST)

Al Jazeera reports that all seven hostages have escaped the plane but the hijacker is likely still inside the plane

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:14 (IST)

One of the four hostages left the plane by climbing out of the cockpit window, while the other three were able to leave by the main door and walk down the steps. 

Armed police took up positions behind Larnaca airport's largely disused old terminal buildings as the four emerged.

AFP

Mar 29, 2016 - 17:04 (IST)

Out of the seven passengers and crew waiting to be released, AFP reports that at least four more people have left the hijacked EgyptAir plane

Mar 29, 2016 - 16:38 (IST)

Beach near Larnaca airport evacuated

Cyprus police have evacuated a stretch of beach near the Larnaca airport tarmac where a hijacked EgyptAir passenger jet is parked.

The standoff at the airport is continuing with the hijacker and seven passengers and crew remaining on the EgyptAir plane that was hijacked on Tuesday morning.

Cypriot police told dozens of journalists and patrons of a number of trendy coffee shops and restaurants to vacate Makenzy Beach, which is popular with tourists.

The beach is just meters away from the outer fence of Cyprus' main airport at Larnaca where the aircraft landed Tuesday after a hijacker diverted it to the east Mediterranean island.

Associated Press

 

A Cypriot government official says the hijacked plane landed on Tuesday morning at the airport in Larnaca and that there are suspicions of a bomb on board, said a report from AP.

The AP report said that a second Cypriot official says there "seems like there's more than one hijacker." He says there have been no demands other than that police vehicles move away from the aircraft.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

EgyptAir Hijack Live Idiot hijacker arrested all hostages released Cyprus foreign ministry confirms

The EgyptAir flight was slated to fly from Alexandria to Cairo. The plan was hijacked in Alexandria when the pilot was forced to land the aircraft at Larnaka airport in Cyprus.

The statement from the Egyptian aviation authority says the MS181 is an Airbus and that it has about 60 passengers on board and five crew members, one of whom is thought to be armed, according to CNN IBN.

The hijackers contacted the control tower at 8.30 am (0530 GMT) and the plane was given permission to land at 8.50 am, the police said, reported AFP.

The hijackers made no immediate demands and a crisis team has been deployed to the airport.

Here are the official tweets from EgyptAir:

(landed at larnakh and is negotiating with the kidnappers)

EgyptAir's official press release:

Press Release 1Cairo 29 March 2016 An EGYPTAIR official declared that its flight number MS181 heading from HBE...

Posted by EGYPTAIR on Tuesday, 29 March 2016

التصريح الصحفي 2القاهرة 29 مارس 201609:00المفاوضات مع المختطف تسفر عن الإفراج عن جميع ركاب الطائرة فيما عدا طاقم الطائرة وخمس أجانب.

Posted by EGYPTAIR on Tuesday, 29 March 2016

With inputs from Agencies

Updated Date:

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