Official sources say the hijacking of an EgyptAir plane has ended, with all passengers safe and the suspect arrested.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the man’s motives were thus far unclear. “At some moments he asked to meet with a representative of the European Union and at other points he asked to go to another airport but there was nothing specific,” Ismail said, according to Reuters.
Authorities said they would question the man to ascertain his “true motives.”
Cyprus Foreign Ministry general director Alexandros Zenon reportedly described him as “psychologically unstable.”
EgyptAir domestic flight MS181 was hijacked Tuesday morning on route from Alexandria to Cairo, by a man who claimed he was wearing a suicide belt. The plane was diverted to Larnaca airport in Cyprus around 7:50am, where it remained on the ground until the siege had ended.
“Its over,” the Cyprus foreign ministry said in a tweet Tuesday morning.
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Some people were allowed to leave the plane after it landed, but the hijacker continued to hold a group of hostages, including the pilot and co-pilot, a female cabin crew member, a security officer, and three passengers, according to Egypt’s civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy. The original flight had 55 passengers of “various nationalities.”