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EgyptAir flight lands safely in Cyprus after hijacking

An EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo was rerouted to Cyprus’ Larnaca airport this morning following a hijacking. Reports initially believed one man to be armed, and a bomb to be on board, though later reporting refuted this. The hijacker requested political asylum in Cyprus and a translator. Women and children were allowed to leave the aircraft soon after it landed at Larnaca airport, and all but five passengers had left the aircraft within half an hour of its landing. The hijacker is reported to be married, but estranged from, a Greek Cypriot woman, and has demanded to speak to her.

The incident is not said to be terror-related, and an Eqyptian foreign minister is quoted as saying “he’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot.” Rather than a terror plot connection, the hijacking appears at this point to be a move to gain contact with his ex-wife. The president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has said that the hijack is “not to do with terrorism.”

Larnaca airport is currently closed as the situation unfolds, and advice to travellers is to contact their airline or tour operators for further details.