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EgyptAir hijack: Passenger jet lands at Cyprus’ Larnaca

An Egyptair domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to divert to Cyprus, Egyptian officials said.

The pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported that 55 passengers were on board and a crew of seven. An official in Cyrpus told Associated Press that 56 people been released and have left the aircraft.

EgyptAir said all passengers aside from four foreigers have been released from EgyptAir flight 181.

The plane was an Airbus 320, Egypt’s aviation ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that pilot Omar al-Gammal had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger who possessed a suicide belt and forced him to land in Larnaca.

Egyptian state media identified the hijacker as Ibrahim Samaha, an Egyptian national who checked in from Alexandria airport.

Local media in Cyprus reported he first asked to be taken to Istanbul but that the pilot refused this demand.

CYBC said the airplane was parked at an apron at Larnaca airport. The hijacker asked police to back away from the aircraft, it said.

Source: Al Jazeera And Agencies