Egypt Air passenger plane MS181 en route from Alexandria to Cairo has been hijacked. The hijacked plane has been forced to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus.
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said that the pilot of the plane, Omar al-Gammal was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives. The pilot was threatened by a passenger who carried a suicide belt and forced him to land the plane at Larnaca airport.
As per Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, 55 people are on board, with a crew of 7. Earlier reports had suggested about 80 to 81 people on board. Cyprus state radio reports one armed man on board the hijacked plane. All flights to Cyprus have been suspended. There are no reports so far of any Indian national onboard the hijacked plane.
The hijacker has been identified as Ibrahim Samaha, who is carrying a suicide belt. It is understood that negotiations are underway between the hijacker and the authorities. All passengers apart from the crew and four foreigners have been reportedly released from the plane. The hijacker, Ibrahim Samaha is a 27 year old Egyptian national, seeking political asylum.
More details are awaited.