No terror link to Egypt plane hijacking

epa05234460 Sherif Fathy, Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation, speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt, 29 March 2016. A passenger plane from the Egyptian airline 'EgyptAir' was hijacked to Larnaca, Cyprus, earlier the same morning, after being forced to divert its route from Alexandria to Cairo. Media reports citing a statement by the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry say that all passengers except the flight crew and five foreigners were released by the hijacker after negotiations. The hijacker has not yet mentioned any specific demands while the negotiations were continuing, Sherif Fathy said.  EPA/KHALED ELFIQI
Makhmur / AFP

A hijacker seized an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Cyprus on Tuesday, but nearly all of the passengers were quickly released and officials said the incident was not linked to terrorism.
A government source said the hijacker had demanded to see a Cypriot woman, his estranged lover who lives on the island.
The EgyptAir plane landed at the airport in the southern coastal city of Larnaca at 8:50 am, after the hijacker had contacted the control tower 20 minutes earlier to demand the diversion.
Egyptian civil aviation said he had threatened to detonate an explosives belt on the Airbus A-320, which had been headed from the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria to Cairo.
Most of the passengers were allowed to disembark after the plane landed. Egypt’s aviation minister Sherif Fathy told a press conference that the captain, a co-pilot, an air hostess and a security guard remained on board, along with three passengers. EgyptAir had previously said that negotiations with the hijacker” had resulted in “the release of all the passengers, except the crew and four foreigners.”
An AFP correspondent later saw at least seven people descend from the aircraft, including some dressed in what appeared to be crew uniforms.

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