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egyptair hijack

Body parts, personal belongings of passengers and debris from missing EgyptAir plane have been found in the Mediterranean Sea, Greek and Egyptian officials say.

Flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew when it vanished on May 19.

Seats and luggage has also been retrieved by Egyptian search crews.

The debris was discovered about 180 miles north of Alexandria, the Egyptian military said.

European Space Agency (ESA) satellites spotted an oil slick in the area where the flight had vanished but the organization said there was no guarantee it was from the missing plane.EgyptAir MS804 debris

The search is now focused on finding the plane’s flight recorders, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has expressed his “utmost sadness and regret” at the crash.

Military units from Greece, Egypt, France and the UK have been taking part in a search operation near the Greek island Karpathos.

Greece said radar showed the Airbus A320 had made two sharp turns and dropped more than 25,000ft before plunging into the sea.

Egypt says the plane was more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act than a technical fault.

However, there has been “absolutely no indication” so far as to why the plane came down, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on May 20.

Three investigators from the French air accident investigation bureau, along with a technical adviser from Airbus, have joined the Egyptian inquiry.

The missing plane was forced to make an emergency landing in 2013 after the pilot noticed the engine overheating, but an official report said defect was repaired.

In France, the focus is on whether a possible breach of security happened at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

After last year’s attacks in the French capital, some airport staff had their security clearance revoked over fears of links to Islamic extremists.


Seif Eldin Mustafa, the Egyptian man accused of hijacking and forcing an EgyptAir plane to land in Cyprus on March 29 using a fake suicide belt, has appeared in court in Cyprus.

The Larnaca court ordered an eight-day detention for Seif Eldin Mustafa.

Possible charges include air piracy, kidnapping and threatening behavior.

Seif Eldin Mustafa did not speak, but gave a victory sign as he was driven away by police. Cypriot authorities have described him as “psychologically unstable”, saying the incident was not terrorism-related.

EgyptAir flight MS181 was carrying 56 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo, along with six crew and a security official, when it was diverted to Cyprus.Seif Eldin Mustafa EgyptAir hijack

During a stand-off lasting more than six hours, almost all passengers and crew were freed unharmed as authorities negotiated with Seif Eldin Mustafa.

One person, apparently a crew member, climbed out of a cockpit window, minutes before the suspect walked calmly out of the plane to surrender.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said Seif Eldin Mustafa had initially asked to speak with his Cypriot ex-wife, who was brought to the airport by police, before making a series of “incoherent” demands.

Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades had responded to a reporter’s question about whether the hijacker was motivated by romance, by laughing and saying: “Always there is a woman involved.”

Egyptian authorities said security measures had been “fully implemented” before the flight.

CCTV footage released by the interior ministry shows Seif Eldin Mustafa being frisked at two security checks and passing a slim bag through X-ray machines at Alexandria’s Borg El Arab airport.

Egypt has taken steps to improve airport security after Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 was blown up over Sinai in October 2015.

They include an extra $1 billion a year and a deal with British consultancy Control Risks to review procedures at Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh and Marsa Alam airports.

The EgyptAir hijacker has been arrested in Cyprus hours after he diverted the domestic Egyptian flight to Larnaca airport and all hostages were released.

EgyptAir Flight MS181 was taken over by a passenger claiming to be wearing a suicide explosive belt.

Airline officials later said they had been told by Cypriot authorities that the belt was fake.

The hijacker’s motives remain unclear but Cyprus President Nicos Anastasides said the incident was not terrorism-related.

No-one was injured in the hijacking, Cypriot government spokesman Nikos Christodulides tweeted.

After a morning of tension, the hijacker was seen walking down aircraft steps at Larnaca airport with his hands raised.EgyptAir hijacking Larnaca

Some reports said the Egyptian man – named by Cypriot officials as Seif Eldin Mustafa – wanted to talk to his estranged Cypriot wife who lives on the Mediterranean island, while others said he was seeking the release of female prisoners in Egypt.

The hijacker’s surrender came shortly after several people were seen fleeing the aircraft. One – apparently a crew member – escaped by climbing out of the aircraft’s cockpit window.

In a tweet, the Cypriot foreign ministry confirmed the end of the crisis: “It’s over. The hijacker arrested.”

Throughout the morning, passengers had been seen leaving the aircraft after appearing to have been released.

Local media reports said the hijacker had handed over a four-page letter in Arabic after the plane landed at Larnaca in the morning, and that later a woman thought to be his wife had arrived at the airport.

Earlier, President Nicos Anastasiades had responded to a reporter’s question about whether the hijacker was motivated by romance, by laughing and saying: “Always there is a woman involved.”

EgyptAir said the Airbus A320 was carrying 56 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo, along with six crew members and a security official. It had initially said 81 passengers were on board.

A statement from Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said 26 foreign passengers were on board, including eight Americans, four Dutch citizens, four Britons, two Greeks, two Belgians, a French national, an Italian and a Syrian.

Larnaca airport, on the south coast of Cyprus, has been closed and scheduled flights diverted elsewhere.

Part of the passengers on board a hijacked EgyptAir plane that was forced to divert to Cyprus have been freed, the airline says.

The Egyptian airliner said negotiations had resulted in the release of all those on board Flight MS181 apart from the crew and four foreign passengers.

Video from Larnaca airport has shown people leaving the plane and boarding a bus.

It was taken over after a passenger said he was wearing an explosives belt.Egyptair hijack Larnaca airport

Latest reports from Cyprus media suggest there is just one hijacker who was motivated by “personal reasons” and may be seeking asylum – although this has not been confirmed.

EgyptAir said the Airbus A320 was carrying 81 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo.

A senior Alexandria airport official said those on board the flight when it took off included 30 Egyptians, eight Americans, four Dutch, four Britons, two Belgians and one Italian.

Larnaca airport, on the south coast of Cyprus, has been closed and scheduled flights diverted elsewhere.

“The pilot said that a passenger told him he had an explosives vest and forced the plane to land in Larnaca,” the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said in a statement.