Suspected highjacker of EgyptAir surrenders at Larnaka airport

An Egyptian flight that was high-jacked and forced to land in Larnaca have ended in a good note with all passengers and flight crew members released and the hijackers surrendering.

EgyptAir Flight MS181 was high-jacked by a passenger claiming to be wearing a suicide explosive belt.

hijacked aircraft
photo credit: BBC news

After a morning of tension, the hijacker was seen walking down the steps of the aircraft with his hands raised. His motives as of the time of filing this report remain unclear.

Passengers emerge from hijacked aircraft
Negotiations began and then people were seen emerging from the plane. source: bbc news

Reports have it that the Egyptian man – named by Cypriot officials as Seif Eldin Mustafa – wanted to talk to his estranged Cypriot wife who lives on the Mediterranean island, while others said he was seeking the release of female prisoners in Egypt.

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades insisted that the hijack was not terrorism-related.

In a tweet, the Cypriot foreign ministry confirmed the end of the crisis: “It’s over. The hijacker arrested.”

Throughout the morning, people had been seen leaving the aircraft after appearing to have been released.

Local media reports said the hijacker had handed over a four-page letter in mapArabic after the plane landed at Larnaca on Tuesday morning, and that later a woman thought to be his wife had arrived at the airport.

Earlier, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in responding to a reporter’s question about whether the hijacker was motivated by romance, he laughed and said: “Always there is a woman involved.”

EgyptAir said the Airbus A320 was carrying 56 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo, along with six crew and a security official. It had initially said 81 passengers were on board.

A statement from Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said 26 foreign passengers were on board, including eight Americans, four Britons, four Dutch citizens, two Belgians, two Greeks, a French national, an Italian and a Syrian.

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


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Arinze Esomnofu is a Content writer with He is not only talented but also passionate about writing and reporting as he has had some of his op-ed article featured in top Nigerian Online and Traditional media houses. He is also a freethinker on religious matters.

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