A plane on its way from Alexandria to Cairo in Egypt, was on Tuesday morning hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus. After five hours of negotiations the hijacker was eventually arrested, according to the Cypriot Foreign Ministry. The airline EgyptAir also confirmed that all the hostages were released without physical injury. According to the Foreign Ministry, the hijacker is named Seif Eldin Mustafa.
The Egyptian civil aviation ministry told that Cypriot authorities have established that the hijackers bomb belt was fake, reports Reuters. AFP reports that according to Cypriot police no explosives were on board the aircraft.
The hijacker early released all women and children. The number of remaining hostages in the plane, ranged during the negotiations. The last hour it was said that eight people were onboard, including the pilot, the copilot and three crew members.
Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy in Egypt told at a news conference Tuesday that the hijacker did not have any weapons on the plane.
- He says that he is wearing a bomb belt, but we do not know if it's true, said Fathy before the hijacker had had been arrested.
Later, the Egyptian aviation ministry disclosed that the bomb belt was fake, according to Reuters.
According to state media in Cyprus, the hijacker had submitted a claim for political asylum. This is yet to be confirmed from official sources.
According to security sources at the airport, ten Americans and eight Britons were among the passengers.
The airport in Larnaca is no stranger to hijackings. In the 1970s and 80s, a number of hijacked planes were forced to land there, most of them hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
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