World / Middle East

EgyptAir hijacker arrested; no one hurt

(Agencies) Updated: 2016-03-30 02:55

EgyptAir hijacker arrested; no one hurt

Passengers evacuate a hijacked EgyptAir plane at Larnaca airport in Cyprus on Tuesday.[Photo/Agencies]

A hijacker who seized an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Cyprus has been detained, officials said on Tuesday.

No one was hurt in the incident.

"The hijacker has just been arrested," Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Twitter, without providing further details.

The Cypriot Foreign Ministry said in a tweet, "It's over."

A man emerged from the aircraft and then walked across the tarmac and raised his hands in surrender to two counterterrorism police officers. They laid him on the ground and searched him for about two minutes before taking him away.

The hijacker had claimed to be wearing a belt of explosives when he took over the plane with 81 passengers, including 21 foreigners, and 15 crew on board and diverted it to Cyprus before releasing all the passengers except four foreigners and the crew.

The EgyptAir Airbus 320 was flying from Alexandria to Cairo when it was hijacked. It landed at Larnaca airport in Cyprus.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the hijacking was not related to terrorism. Greek news agency AMNA reported that the hijacking had been carried out by an individual for personal reasons.

First reports said the perpetrator was an Egyptian national who was married to a Greek Cypriot. The couple have four children. The man demanded that a four-page letter be delivered to his ex-wife who is living in Cyprus.

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