Hijacked Egyptian airliner lands in Larnaca: Updated

The South Cyprus Police have confirmed that a hijacked Egyptair flight MS181 originally en route for Cairo, has landed at Larnaca Airport.

Most of the passengers have been released, although some of the crew remain on board. Three passengers still on the plane are said to include a British and Scots person.

The hijacker is a former Egyptian army officer, Seif Eldin Mustafa. A report by CyBC said that he was seeking the release of a women who is currently in prison in Egypt. Mustafa threw a written note for the authorities out of the plane.

An allegedly estranged partner and a child arrived at the airport and he met with them.

President Nicos Anastasiades said that the hijacking of the aircraft had no links to terrorism.

Anastasiades said at least 49 of the passengers have been released, noting that the government was doing everything possible for the safe release of everyone on board the plane.

So far there is no official confirmation about the motives of the hijacker, nor is there any information whether or not the hijacker is carrying explosives.

Mackenzie beach, which lies nearby and has a number of cafes there, has been sealed of for security reasons.

Negotiations with the hijacker are ongoing.

Update: The Guardian reports that the hijacker attempted to escape from the plane by the cockpit window and has now been arrested by the police.

Cyprus Weekly, The Guardian

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