Cyprus security forces arrest Egypt jet hijacker (UPDATE)

Cyprus security forces arrest Egypt jet hijacker (UPDATE)

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 29

Trend:

16:07 (GMT+4) The hijacker of the Egyptian А320 aircraft, which landed at Larnaca airport in Cyprus, has been arrested, Sigma TV channel reported.

Reportedly, no explosives have been found on the hijacker.

Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has confirmed his arrest.

15:53 (GMT+4) Several more people have left the hijacked Egyptian plane.

As shown on live broadcast by the Sky News Arabia TV channel from Larnaca airport, where the jet has landed, at least five people went downstairs, and one, apparently, the pilot, climbed out of the flight deck window, TASS news agency reported.

Apparently, all of them are the crew members.

Special forces, which are conducing search, meet them in front of the airport's building.

15:17 (GMT+4) The hijacker of Egyptian А320, which has landed at Larnaca airport in Cyprus, has demanded to refuel the jet immediately, as he is going to fly to Turkey, Sky News Arabia TV channel reported citing sources in Egypt Air.

Currently, 8-9 people, including the crew members and several foreign passengers are aboard.

15:05 (GMT+4) The hijacker of Egyptian А320 aircraft is the former officer of Egyptian army, newsit.com.cy news portal reported.

The Phileleftheros newspaper reported that the hijacker is the former employee of Egyptian security forces.

The Cypriot police have demanded foreign media outlets to stop the live broadcast from Larnaca airport.

14:38 (GMT+4) Two more hostages have been released from the hijacked Egyptian aircraft, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

"Two people left the plane several minutes ago," said the agency.

Previously, 49 people and later, five more people were released from the hijacked plane.

Israeli, UK, Dutch and the US citizens are among the passengers.

The exact number of the people aboard hasn't been specified.

It was reported that there were 55 passengers and seven crew members aboard.

Currently, three crisis management centers are operating at the airport, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

14:24 (GMT+4)The hijacker of Egyptian A320 jet has demanded the release of prisoners in Egypt, Cyprus Radio reported March 29.

13:57 (GMT+4) Seven people: the captain, the second pilot, a stewardess, a security officer and three passengers are still aboard the hijacked Egyptian aircraft, Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy has said.

He said there were 55 passengers aboard when the plane was hijacked.

13:50 (GMT+4) Larnaca airport services haven't received information about casualties after the hijack of Egyptian A320 aircraft, an official with the airport has told RIA Novosti.

The source noted that according to the Cypriot law, only the country's Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Department can give official comments on a hijacked plane.

13:25 (GMT+4) The hijacker of the А320 passenger aircraft of EgyptAir has released five more hostages, TASS news agency reported.

For the present, it is unknown whether the released hostages are passengers or crew members, CBC Extra TV channel reported.

The pilots and air stewards refused to leave the plane until the hijacker Ibrahim Samaha releases all passengers, according to the report.

13:01 (GMT+4) Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that the hijack of Egyptian А320 jet is not a terrorist attack, RIA Novosti reported.

"Everything is always related to a woman," the president told reporters following the press conference with President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz who is in Cyprus.

All necessary measures are underway to release the hostages, Anastasiades added.

12:46 (GMT+4) No explosives have been detected aboard the hijacked Egyptian A320 aircraft, Haaretz newspaper reported citing Cypriot sources.

12:30 (GMT+4) The hijacker of the Egyptian jet Ibrahim Samaha is a lecturer at a university in Atlanta, the US, Al Ahram portal reported citing the sources at intelligence services.

12:02 (GMT+4) The hijacker of the Egyptian aircraft has asked for a political asylum in Cyprus, Greek Sky TV channel reported.

During the talks with the Cyprus authorities, the hijacker asked for a political asylum on the island, according to the TV channel.

"No other demands have been specified yet," said the report.

11:50 (GMT+4) The hijacker of the А320 aircraft has been named as Egyptian Ibrahim Samaha, RIA Novosti reported.

11:37 (GMT+4) As a result of the talks with the hijacker, 50 passengers, except five foreigners and the crew, have been released from the Egyptian А320 aircraft which has landed at Larnaca airport, RIA Novosti reported.

They left the plane with hand luggage.

11:25 (GMT+4) The hijacker of Egyptian A320 aircraft demands the withdrawal of police forces from Larnaca airport, Cyprus News Agency reported.

Reportedly, eight UK and 10 US citizens are aboard the plane.

11:20 (GMT+4) Around 20 passengers have left the hijacked А-320 aircraft which has landed at Larnaca airport.

11:18 (GMT+4) The hijacker of А-320 aircraft has let Egyptian citizens to leave the jet, RIA Novosti reported.

Moreover, the authorities of Cyprus are holding talks with the hijacker.

11:03 (GMT+4) EgyptAir has confirmed the hijack of MS181 flight and will make an official statement soon, RIA Novosti reported.

The Foreign Ministry of Cyprus has also confirmed the hijack of А-320 aircraft.

"I can confirm that it was hijacked. We can't officially provide further details," the ministry's spokesperson told Sputnik news agency.

10:58(GMT+4) An unidentified man, who hijacked the EgyptAir aircraft flying from Alexandria to Cairo, threatened the captain and the passengers that he would blow up the suicide belt, if his demand is not fulfilled, RIA Novosti reported citing Al Balad news portal.

Reportedly, the aircraft captain managed to inform the dispatchers in Cairo that the plane has been hijacked and will fly to Cyprus.

10:28 (GMT+4) A-320 passenger aircraft, hijacked by unknown people, has landed at Larnaca airport in Cyprus, Reuters reported citing local media outlets.

The plane with 81 passengers aboard was travelling from Alexandria to Cairo.

10:23 (GMT+4) A plane of EgyptAir company has been hijacked by unknown people, TASS news agency reported citing Bloomberg.

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