Cyprus: The EgyptAir hijacking crisis came to an end today at the airport in Cyprus. The hijaker of the EgyptAir flight was arrested and all the hostages were freed unharmed at the island’s Larnaca airport after a four-hour standoff.
In a tweet, the Cypriot foreign ministry said: “It’s over. The hijacker arrested”, reports Guardian.
According to sources, the hijack was done for a personal reason and was seeking political motivation. Though, the motive behind the hijacking still remains unclear, the hijacker has been identified as Seif El Din Mustafa, who was carrying a suicide belt. Earlier, the hijacker was mistakenly identified as Ibrahim Samaha, also an Egyptian. Samaha, however, turned out to be an innocent passenger.
Some reports said the man wanted to talk to his estranged Cypriot wife, while others said he was seeking the release of female prisoners in Egypt.
EgyptAir passenger plane MS181 en route from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked on Tuesday morning and was forced to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus.
The place had 55 people on board including seven crew members. Most of the passengers were released after the plane landed in Cyprus.
Reports said that the pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives. All flights to Cyprus for now have been suspended. There are no reports so far of any Indian nationals onboard the hijacked plane.
The hijacker, Ibrahim Samaha is a 27-year-old Egyptian national, seeking political asylum.