Last updated: 02:27 PM ET, Mon April 04 2016

EgyptAir Hijacker Arrested After Holding Hostages with Explosive Belt

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | March 29, 2016

EgyptAir Hijacker Arrested After Holding Hostages with Explosive Belt

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

After several hours of intense negotiations Tuesday, a hijacker was arrested after he forced a plane to divert and held passengers and crew hostage for several hours with an explosive device.

According to, the incident began when a man claimed he had an explosive belt on EgyptAir Flight MS181 en route from Alexandria to Cairo, telling pilots to make an emergency landing in Turkey or Cyprus or he would detonate his bomb.

The plane landed safely at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus early Tuesday morning, and most of the passengers were permitted to leave the aircraft upon landing. The hijacker then held four passengers and seven crew members hostage while authorities negotiated with the man.

Reports suggest the incident appeared to be a personal matter involving a woman, as the hijacker requested to talk to a Cypriot woman who appeared to be his ex-wife, with negotiations between police and the man centered on the woman.

Thankfully, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Cyprus reported that the incident ended at around 7:45 a.m. ET when the hijacker was finally arrested without further incident. Reports are unclear whether the man actually had explosives or not.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the incident was not terrorism related.


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