About 30 to 40 passengers of hijacked EgyptAir plane freed- Cyprus media

Reuters

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A hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus , March 29, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou A hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus , March 29, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou
About 30 to 40 passengers onboard a hijacked EgyptAir plane that was forced to land in Cyprus were released, Cyprus state media reported on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported that 55 passengers were on board and a crew of seven.
The pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives, Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said.
The hijacking occurred in Cyprus's flight information region and the airliner was diverted to Larnaca.
The plane was an Airbus 320, Egypt's aviation ministry said.
The ministry in a statement that pilot Omar al-Gammal had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger who possessed a suicide belt and forced him to land in Larnaca.
CYBC said the airplane was parked at an apron at Larnaca airport. The hijacker asked police to back away from the aircraft, it said.
Israel scrambled warplanes in its airspace as a precaution in response to the plane hijacking, according to an Israeli military source.

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