• Chidozie Uzoezie

Hijacker of EgyptAir Plane From Alexandria to Cairo Arrested

An EgyptAir's Airbus A320 flying from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus on Tuesday but the passengers and crew were freed unharmed and the hijacker arrested after giving himself up.

Reuters reports that eighty-one people, including 21 foreigners and 15 crew, had been onboard the flight when it took off, Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.

Conflicting theories emerged about the hijacker's motives, with Cypriot officials saying early on the incident did not appear related to terrorism but the Cypriot state broadcaster saying he had demanded the release of women prisoners in Egypt.

After the aircraft landed at Larnaca airport, negotiations began and everyone onboard was freed except three passengers and four crew, Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fethy said.

Passengers on the plane included eight Americans, four Britons, four Dutch, two Belgians, an Italian, a Syrian and French national, the Civil Aviation Ministry said.

Egypt said it would send a plane to Cyprus to pick up stranded passengers, some of whom en route to Cairo for connecting flights abroad.

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