EgyptAir Hijacker Surrenders at Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus

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Officials say they have taken the man responsible for hijacking an EgyptAir flight into custody, ending the hostage situation.

A suspect, identified by Cypriot and Egyptian officials as Seif Eldin Mustafa, has surrendered after hijacking EgyptAir Flight #MS181. The suspect is an Egyptian living in Cyprus whose motive was not clear. He either wanted to his estranged wife or seek the release of female prisoners in Egypt.

He told the pilot that he was wearing a suicide belt and threatened to detonate it, but the suicide belt may have been fake. The hijacker diverted the Alexandria-to-Cairo flight to Larnaca International Airport.

EgyptAir reported the Airbus A320 was carrying 56 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo, along with six crew members and a security official. A statement from Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said 26 foreign passengers were on board, including eight Americans, four Britons, four Dutch citizens, two Belgians, two Greeks, a French national, an Italian and a Syrian.

Most of the people on board were released after the flight was diverted en route to Cairo from Alexandria, but the EgyptAir A320 stayed on the tarmac with the hijacker and seven or eight other people still on board. The remaining hostages were eventually freed. One male hostage escaped by jumping from a cockpit window. The hijacker surrendered a short time later.

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