Sunday 4 December 2016

Five things we know about EgyptAir plane hijacking

Published 29/03/2016 | 10:07

An official boards a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016.REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
An official boards a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016.REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Here is what we know so far about the EgyptAir plane hijacking this morning:

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1. Flight details

An EgyptAir domestic flight was travelling to Alexandria to Cairo in Egypt when the pilot was ordered to divert to Cyprus. The aircraft involved is an EgyptAir Airbus A320.

2. Reports of Irish citizen on board

The Department of Foreign Affairs are unable to confirm the reports of an Irish citizen on the flight, but German newspaper Bild are reporting an Irishman to be one of the foreign passengers.

Read more: Irish citizen on board hijacked EgyptAir plane - reports

3. Hijacker identified

The hijacker has been identified by Egyptian state media as 27-year-old Egyptian national Ibrahim Samaha. Ibrahim Abdel Tawwab Samaha is a professor of veterinary medicine at Alexandria University, a staff list on the university website shows. Samaha is head of the department of food health, the site shows.

4. Demands

It is understood he requested a translator and political asylum. Cypriot state radio also reported the man wanted a four-page letter delivered to his ex-wife.

5. Reaction

"It is not something which has to do with terrorism," Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters. Larnaca airport has been closed and scheduled flights have been diverted elsewhere. EgyptAir says those concerned within Egypt could call their emergency center at 0800 77 77 000, while those living abroad can call +20 2 259 893 2029.

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