A man suspected to be carrying explosives hijacked an Egyptian plane on a flight between Alexandria and Cairo on Tuesday and forced it to land in Cyprus.
After the Egypt Air plane landed at Larnaca airport, the hijacker released about 60 people who were on board except five foreign passengers and the crew. Most of the passengers were Britons.
“The negotiations with the hijacker have resulted in the release of all the plane passengers with the exception of the crew and five foreigners,” the airline said in a statement.
According to a report from Cairo bureau, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said the plane’s pilot, Omar al-Gammal, had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger wearing a suicide explosives belt and forced him to land in Larnaca.
Egyptian state media named the hijacker as Ibrahim Samaha who is also an Egyptian National.
According to Israeli Military, They had scrambled warplanes in its airspace as a precaution in response to the hijacking incidence.
A botched attempt by Egyptian commandos to storm a hijacked airliner at Larnaca airport led to the disruption of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Egypt in 1978 withdrawing military activities from Cyprus for decades.
Egypt’s vital tourism industry is already reeling from the crash of a Russian passenger plane in the Sinai in late October. These terror attacks are affecting their economy!