REUTERS / Yiannis Kourtoglou

An EgyptAir Plane Was Hijacked And Forced To Land In Cyprus


An EgyptAir flight headed to Cairo from Alexandria was hijacked on Tuesday morning, The New York Times reports.

It made a forced landing at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus with the hijacker and passengers aboard.

The hijacker was identified as Egyptian Seif El Din Mustafa, according to CNN. He apparently hijacked the plane for personal reasons related to his ex-wife. The hijacking is not related to terrorism, according to the Cyprus Ministry of Transport.

Cyprus spokesperson Nikos Christodoulides said the hijacker was arrested in the early afternoon, local time.

The hijacker had with him a letter written in Arabic he wanted delivered to his ex-wife in Cyprus, Reuters reports. When Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was asked if there was a woman involved, he responded,

The hijacker said he had a suicide belt on and would set it off, but authorities are yet to confirm if he was actually wearing one.

There were reportedly at least 81 people on board the plane. EgyptAir reports all passengers have now been released and the hijacker taken into custody.

Citations: EgyptAir Hijacking Suspect Arrested in Cyprus (The New York Times), Video shows people leaving hijacked EgyptAir flight in Cyprus (CNN), EgyptAir Plane Hijacked, Forced To Land On Cyprus (Huffington Post), EgyptAir hijacker surrenders: Cyprus state TV (Reuters)