Hijacking of EgyptAir Plane Due to Personal Motives, Not Terror Attack
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades ruled out that the hijacking of the EgyptAir plane on Tuesday constituted a terrorist attack, saying that the hijacker seemed to have personal motives.
Instead of conducting the scheduled domestic flight MS181 between Alexandria and Cairo, the Airbus A320 landed at the airport in Larnaca after being hijacked and forced to divert to Cyprus.
The hijacker has been identified as Egyptian citizen, Ibrahim Samata, who checked in at the airport in Alexandria.
According to media reports, he hijacked the airplane by claiming he is in the possession of a suicide belt.
The negotiations between the authorities and the hijacker are continuing, with the latter reportedly demanding to talk to his former wife who is Cypriot.
Almost all of the 81 people on board have been released, except the crew members and four foreign passengers.
The aircraft carried on board passengers from Egypt, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy as well as seven crew members.
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