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Egypt Air Hijacked: Plane Diverted to Cyprus

hijacked planehijacked planeMost of the passengers on board a hijacked Egyptian airliner that was forced to divert to Cyprus have been freed, the airline says.

EgyptAir Flight MS181 was taken over after a passenger said he was wearing an explosives belt.

EgyptAir said negotiations at Larnaca airport had resulted in the release of all those on board, apart from the crew and four foreign passengers.

Latest reports from Cypriot media suggest there is just one hijacker who was motivated by “personal reasons” – his ex-wife is said to live in Cyprus – and may be seeking asylum, although this has not been confirmed.

EgyptAir said the Airbus A320 was carrying 81 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo.

A senior Alexandria airport official said those on board the flight when it took off included eight Americans, four Britons, four Dutch, two Belgians, one Italian and 30 Egyptians.

“The pilot said that a passenger told him he had an explosives vest and forced the plane to land in Larnaca,” the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

Larnaca airport, on the south coast of Cyprus, has been closed and scheduled flights diverted elsewhere.

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