EgyptAir aircraft hijack: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported that 55 people were on board, with a crew of 7. . EgyptAir hijack: A bus carrying some passengers from the hijacked EgyptAir aircraft drives by the plane at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
An Egyptair domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked on Tuesday and landed in Cyprus, Egyptian officials said. The pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger who claims to be strapped with explosives, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said. The passenger has been identified as Ibrahim Samaha.
Samaha, is reportedly a professor of veterinary medicine at Alexandria University, a staff list on the university website shows. Meanwhile, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that the Egypt plane hijacking is not related to “terrorism”.
The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported that 55 passengers were on board and a crew of seven. The hijacking occurred in Cyprus’s flight information region and the airliner was diverted to Larnaca. The plane was an Airbus 320, Egypt’s aviation ministry said.
The ministry in a statement said 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.
CYBC said the airplane was parked at an apron at Larnaca airport. The hijacker asked police to back away from the aircraft, it said. Israel scrambled warplanes in its airspace as a precaution in response to the plane hijacking, according to an Israeli military source.
Larnaca is no stranger to hostage crises. Several hijacked planes were diverted to the airport in the 1970s and 1980s.
Here are the LIVE updates:
5:20 pm: The Cyprus government spokesperson confirms that hijacker has been arrested and all the hostages escape safely.#BREAKING Passengers, crew of hijacked EgyptAir plane safe: aviation minister
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 29, 2016#BREAKING EgyptAir hijacker ‘unstable’: Cyprus foreign ministry
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 29, 2016At least four more people leave hijacked #EgyptAir plane: AFP
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 29, 2016
4:20 pm: EgyptAir hijacker is Seif Eldin Mustafa, reportedly making political demands: Cyprus officialsCyprus state broadcaster reports hijacker asking for release of prisoners in Egypt- Reuters
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 29, 2016
3:00 pm: 4 crew, 3 passengers still on board hijacked EgyptAir plane: aviation minister
2:21 pm: Samaha is head of the department of food health, the site shows.
2:21 pm: The hijacker of an EgyptAir flight, Ibrahim Abdel Tawwab Samaha, is a professor of veterinary medicine at Alexandria University, a staff list on the university website shows.
2:15 pm: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that the Egypt plane hijacking is not related to “terrorism”.
2:06 pm: EgyptAir hijacker demands to see estranged Cypriot wife: govt official
2:00 pm: Plane carried 21 foreigners including 8 Americans: aviation ministryEmergency Call CenterWithin Egypt 0800 77 77 000International +2 02 25989320-29
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) March 29, 2016
1:42 pm: Witnesses said the hijacker threw a letter on the apron of the airport in Larnaca, written in Arabic, asking that it be delivered to his ex-wife, who is Cypriot.
1:36 pm: Petchenik said: “It looks like a completely controlled flight aside from the fact it was hijacked.”
1:35 pm: Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for FlightRadar24, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that EgyptAir flight MS181 flew in a typical fashion on the Cyprus, without the pilots signaling any trouble via their transponder.A hijacked Egypt Air A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus , March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
1:35 pm: An official with a flight-tracking website says the EgyptAir flight that was hijacked on the way to Cairo showed no immediate signs of distress while in the air.
1:32 pm: Hijacker reportedly asking for political asylum in Cyprus, reports.
1:30 pm: A Cyprus Foreign Ministry official said he could not confirm the man was rigged with explosives. The hijacking occurred in Cyprus’s flight information region.
1:28 pm: Cyprus closes Larnaca airport after hijacking, flights diverted to Paphos. (AFP)
1:26 pm: Cyprus state media says hijacker has ex-wife in Cyprus.
1:19 pm: Egyptian media identifies one hijacker of EgyptAir plane as Ibrahim Samaha.
1:05 pm: EgyptAir had earlier said in a previous statement that the number of foreigners remaining on the aircraft was five.
1:00 pm:Negotiations with the kidnapped result in the release of all the passengers, except the crew and four foreigners.
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) March 29, 2016
12:49 pm: Except seven cabin crew and possibly four foreign nationals all passengers have been released.
12:40 pm: Egyptair statement: Negotiations underway with hijackers – Pilot says man on board with “explosives belt”.
12:30 pm: Cypriot official says Egypt plane hijackers allow women, children to leave; some now disembarking.
12:25 pm: Cyprus Broadcasting reports one hijacker thought to be strapped with explosives, police have been asked to back away from aircraft.
12:23 pm: Pilot of hijacked EgyptAir plane was threatened by a passenger with suicide belt: Civil Aviation MinistryOur flight MS181 is officially hijacked. we’ll publish an official statement now. #Egyptair
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) March 29, 2016
12:12 pm: Cyprus official says bomb suspected on board: AP.
America diary: Foreigners hotels.
Narendra Modi will be staying at the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel during his visit to New York. Waldorf Astoria in New York.While Narendra Modi will stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel during his visit to New York, t...
Tracking PM Modi in America: Two stars already in US Pope Francis and Xi Jinping.
The Pope’s US tour began on Tuesday as he arrived in Washington DC. On Thursday, he will be in New York to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit. Michelle and Barack Obama greet Pope Francis on his arr...
Pope Francis urges US action on climate change.
Crimes of sexual abuse should not be repeated, says Pope Francis. Pope Francis give the thumbs-up from the popemobile during a parade around the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Wednesday. (Source: AP)Pl...
Any act that amounts to undermining Nepals sovereignty is not acceptable: Prachanda.
Two Senior Communist leaders from Nepal — one a former orime minister, and another one aspiring for the top post — on Tuesday said the promulgation of the new Constitution in Nepal was a “mat...
Migrants In Berlin: Uphill task for Germany as tide rises.
Germany- the world’s fourth largest nation by GDP or national income needs more migrants - some hundred thousands annually considering that it has an aging population. A queue of asylum-seekers in Moabit dis...
Conflict watch: From Syria to Afghanistan, all you need to know about the week that was.
The Turkish government continued to grapple with Kurdish militants who killed two police officers in a car bomb attack in the country’s southeast last Sunday.AFGHANISTAN: Taliban insurgents raided a jail in e...
Kurdish nationalism, Islamic State and conflicts in Syria and Iraq — look who’s caught in the middle. Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrians wait behind a border fence near the Turkish town of Suruc o...
Migrants surge into Western Europe through Austria.
Austrian police reported 6,700 new arrivals from Hungary since midnight. Europe migrant crisis: Migrants queue up for buses after they arrived at the border between Austria and Hungary near Heiligenkreuz, about 1...
Constitution promulgation: Indian foreign secretary meets senior leaders in Nepal.
Barely 48 hours before the scheduled delivery of the Constitution, follows what appears like Nepal’s cold-shouldering India’s suggestion to put off voting and adoption of the Constitution in hurry.India...
Netherlands: Dutch police evacuate Paris-bound train, arrest man.
The incident comes less than a month after passengers subdued a gunman on board a Thalys train in northern France as it was traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, also on a Friday. A anti-terrorist unit of the Dutch p...
Taliban attack on Pakistan Air Force base kills 20; 16 die in mosque.
The attack triggered an hours-long firefight at the base and the Pakistani forces said they killed 13 of the attackers, though it was unclear how many were involved in the assault. A volunteer and security persona...
Vietnam accuses Thailand of attacking fishing boats.
The Thanh Nien newspaper quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh as saying several boats were fishing illegally in Thai waters when the Thai vessel used weapons to chase them away. Fishing disputes are commo...
Mums the Word: How Nancy Frates raised millions with one bucket.
How Nancy Frates mobilised millions with one ice bucket challenge. It’s been four years since her son Pete was diagnosed with ALS, and Frates and her family kickstarted the Ice Bucket Challenge.“ITR...
Military in Burkina Faso confirms coup, dissolves government.
In the announcement aired on Thursday on national television and radio, the statement said that the transitional government had been dissolved. Burkina Faso was due to hold elections on October 11 that many hoped ...
Nepal assembly clears Constitution, promulgation set for Sunday.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, a splinter group of the main opposition Maoist Party, has given bandh call on September 20, the day scheduled for promulgation. The charter was passed by a 507-25 vote in the ...
Australian fighter jets make first air strike against Islamic State in Syria.
The United States, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states have already been involved in strikes on IS militants in Syria. The United States, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states have already been involved in strikes on IS milit...
15 killed in Utah flash floods.
Twelve of the victims were from two families who were in two vehicles caught off guard Monday afternoon by ragingwaters in the small town of Hildale. Russ Cook and his family stands next to severely damage vehicle...
Displaced Syrians remain on Turkish border despite truce: MSF.
Tens of thousands of Syrians fled the northern city of Aleppo and surrounding areas in early February as Syrian forces backed by Russian air strikes pressed an offensive there against rebels. .
Tens of thousand...
Turkey: 2 women hurl hand grenade, fire at police.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the two attackers escaped the scene in a vehicle and were hiding inside a building some distance from the police station. .
Two female attackers on Thursday opened fire and hur...
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton rack up Super Tuesday wins; Ted Cruz keeps foothold.
Both Clinton and Trump were denied a clean sweep which many poll pundits had predicted. . Super Tuesday: Both Clinton and Trump were denied a clean sweep which many poll pundits had predicted. (Source: AP)