News / Europe

    EgyptAir Hijacker Arrested, Passengers Unharmed

    A man believed to be the hijacker of the EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, leaves the plane before surrendering to security forces after a six-hour standoff on the tarmac at Larnaca airport's largely disused old terminal on March 29, 20
    A man believed to be the hijacker of the EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, leaves the plane before surrendering to security forces after a six-hour standoff on the tarmac at Larnaca airport's largely disused old terminal on March 29, 20
    Edward Yeranian

    A man who hijacked an Egyptian passenger jet and forced it to land in Cyprus has been arrested and Cypriot authorities say all passengers and crew "are safe," after hours of tense negotiations.

    The final captives on board the EgyptAir plane, heading from Alexandria to the Egyptian capital when it was hijacked, were seen exiting the aircraft on the tarmac of Larnaca Airport, after a tense standoff inside the plane.

    Cypriot authorities insist terrorism is not the cause of Tuesday's incident, despite initial reports the hijacker was wearing an explosive belt and had threatened to blow up the plane.  

    According to Cypriot media, the hijacker, identified as Seif el-Din Mustafa, wanted to speak to his former wife, who lives in Cyprus.  Arab media claimed the man was demanding prisoners in Egypt be released, but Egyptian officials denied the report.

    Unidentified people leave the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016.
    Unidentified people leave the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016.

    Threat level unclear

    Before the hijacker was arrested, Egypt's civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy said the exact level of threat was not clear.

    “We are not sure what he has is a true bomb or threat to the aircraft, but we are dealing with it as a real threat, because we cannot take any risks.”

    Fathy said security on the plane was good and the hijacker had not been able to enter the cockpit, preventing a more serious threat.  Egyptian TV also showed video of the man going through a metal detector at Alexandria Airport before boarding.

    Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told local media a “domestic issue” was behind the hijacking.  The hijacker's former wife, a Cypriot, was brought by local police to the airport to meet with him.

    Another EgyptAir flight from Cairo to New York was delayed due to a potential security threat.  Egypt's aviation minister told journalists the plane was delayed both for security reasons and because passengers from the hijacked flight were due to board the flight.

    WATCH: Video footage from Cyprus
     

    EgyptAir Plane Hijacked, Lands in Cyprusi
    X
    March 29, 2016 6:26 PM
    A man who hijacked an Egyptian passenger jet and forced it to land in Cyprus has been arrested and Cypriot authorities say all passengers and crew "are safe," after hours of tense negotiations.

    Further weakened tourism

    The incident appears likely to further damage Egypt's vital tourism industry, which had already been suffering from years of political unrest and a burgeoning terror threat.

    An Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula in October brought down a Russian passenger jet with a bomb planted on board, killing all 224 people on board.

    Bill Gallo contributed to this report from Washington

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: PermReader
    March 29, 2016 1:09 PM
    It becomes fashionably to enter the hospitable Europe illegally. Muslimse become so privileged "race" in the West, that any politician who dare to oppose them, like Trump,appears the person non-grata in such a Muslim country as Britain.

    by: Emad Romsay from: Cyprus
    March 29, 2016 11:00 AM
    What you mean "...hijacking was not related to terrorism"? Any crime committed by Arabs should be considered as terrorism. Period!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora