LARNACA, CYPRUS (RNN) – After hours of negotiation, the hijacker who took a passenger plane to Cyprus has been arrested, the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted.
The alleged hijacker emerged from the plane with his hands in the air, and he was being questioned. Egyptian authorities also reported that all hostages had been freed and were safe and uninjured.
The hijacker allegedly told the pilot he had an explosive belt, but Cypriot authorities reported the belt contained no explosives. Egyptair also released his statement to that effect.
Some people were seen escaping the Egyptair plane after hours of being held hostage, including one person leaping from the cockpit window and three people leaving via the staircase.
Authorities reported that the alleged hijacker, Egyptian national Seif El Din Mustafa, likely had personal motives, telling negotiators he wanted to talk to his ex-wife, who lives in Cyprus.
A member of the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation told CNN he doubted that there are explosives on the plane because of heightened security measures put in place after that act of terror.
Flight MS181was carrying 81 passengers, most of them Egyptian, and five crew members. The passenger plane, an Airbus a320, landed safely at the Larnaca Airport in Cyprus on Tuesday.
Flights out of the Larnaca Airport were cancelled for most of the day as the situation unfolded.
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Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News
Picture Courtesy of Cyprus State TV, CNN, and WOIO Cleveland 19 News