Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cypriot Authorities Continue Negotiations With Hijacker of EgyptAir Plane in Larnaca 
Ahram Online
Tuesday 29 Mar 2016

All passengers, except 4 non-Egyptians, disembark hijacked plane at Larnaca; President Sisi has called his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades to discuss the crisis

11:00am Reuters reports that more passengers are seen disembarking the hijacked plane. Earlier in the day, Egypt's aviation ministry had said that all passengers were allowed to disembark except for four non-Egyptians and the plane's crew.

The plane was carrying 81 passengers and had a 15-person crew plus one security officer.

10:50am EgyptAir flight 181 crew refuses to leave hijacked plane before the release of all remaining passengers, according to CBC Extra Egyptian TV channel.

10:45am Sky News Arabia reported that the hijacker is an Egyptian professor of veterinary medicine at Alexandria University and he holds US citizenship.

10:40am Cyprus broadcasting (CYBC) reported that the hijacker may have personal motives and that he has an ex-wife in Cyprus, according to Reuters.

10:30am Cyprus state TV said the hijacker was demanding asylum in the Mediterranean Island. The hijacker asked for a translator to relay his demands to the authorities, it added.

10:20am President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has called his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades to discuss the crisis.

10:15am Egypt's prime minister Sherif Ismail asked the civil aviation minister to open investigation into the hijacking of flight 181 and security measures at Borg El-Arab airport in Alexandria where the hijacked plane originated, CBC extra TV channel reported.

The Egyptian aviation ministry had earlier announced thatall passengers aboard the hijacked EgyptAir flight, which was forced to land in Larnaca, Cyprus on Tuesday morning have been allowed to disembark the flight except for four non-Egyptians and the plane's crew.

"Negotiations with the kidnapper result in the release of all the passengers, except the crew and four foreigners," a second statement from EgyptAir said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a passenger on the EgyptAir local flight 181, which was heading from Alexandria to Cairo, threatened to detonate an explosives belt, forcing the captain to divert the flight to Larnaca airport in Cyprus.

The Egyptian state TV aired a picture of the hijacker aboard the plane identifying him as Ibrahim Samaha without reporting on his nationality.

The aviation ministry had said that Cypriot officials negotiated with the hijacker.

Cypriot anti-terrorism units have been deployed at Larnaca airport to deal with the crisis.

The ministry identified the hijacked plane as airbus 320, flight 181 saying it had 81 passengers on board at the time of the incident.

The hijacker(s) contacted the control tower at 8:30 am (0530 GMT) and the plane was given permission to land at 8:50 am, the Cypriot police had said according to AFP.


Egypt's Sisi Calls Cypriot President to Discuss Hijacked Plane Standoff

Ahram Online
Tuesday 29 Mar 2016

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss the latest developments of the hijacked EgyptAir flight, Egypt's state TV says.

El-Sisi has stressed that Egypt is concerned for the safety and security of all passengers of the hijacked plane, state TV quoted him as saying.

A hijacker early on Tuesday diverted an EgyptAir flight, headed from Alexandria to Cairo, to Larnaca, Cyprus. The airline later said all passengers on board were released except four non-Egyptian passengers and the crew.

Egyptian state TV aired a picture of the hijacker aboard the plane, identifying him as Ibrahem Samaha, without reporting his nationality.


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