Passengers of hijacked Egyptian plane arrive in Cairo

CAIRO, March 29 (KUNA) — Passengers of Egyptian plane, which was a domestic trip before being hijacked and diverted to Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, arrived in Cairo Airport Tuesday evening after a seven-hour ordeal.
The passengers and the crew were welcomed at the aiprot by Prime Minister Sharif Ismail and several senior state officials.
Ismail congratulated them for the safe end to the standoff and thanked Cypriot government for cooperation in handling the case.
Earlier, Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi thanked his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Anastasiadis for the great efforts exerted by Cypriot authorities to end the hijack of the Egyptian plane in Larnaca.
Al-Sisi commended professionalism of Cypriot security authorities towards ending the hijack of EgyptAir flight MS181, which was originally on a domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo.
An Egyptian man who hijacked the plane surrendered Tuesday after a seven-hour airport standoff.
The hijacker had claimed to be wearing a bomb belt but no explosives were discovered after he gave himself up at Larnaca airport and was arrested.
A total of 55 passengers, including Egyptians, Americans and British nationals, were on board the plane.
Cypriot officials negotiated with the hijacker and the airport was placed on lockdown.
Shortly after the plane landed in Cyprus, the passengers were all allowed to disembark except for three non-Egyptians and five crew members. (end) esm.ibi