We cannot confirm hijacker is wearing explosives belt: Egypt civil aviation minister

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 Mar 2016

Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said no clear demands were made by the hijacker, negotiations between hijacker and Cypriot officials are still underway

Sharif Fathy
Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Sharif Fathy speaks during a press conference at the Ministry headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, March 29, 2016 (AP)

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said that he cannot confirm if the hijacker of EgyptAir flight 181 was wearing an explosives belt, but Egypt is still dealing with it as “real threat."

In a press conference shortly after 11am CLT, Fathy said that out of the initial 55 passengers and crew, seven people are still on the plane, including the pilot, co-pilot, a security officer, and three passengers.

The Egyptian minister declined to reveal the nationalities of the three passengers or the hijacker.

“No clear demands by the hijacker were given, and negotiations are still ongoing in Cyprus between the authorities and the hijacker,” Fathy added.

Fathy said the EgyptAir plane left from Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab at 6:30am, and was hijacked around 7am following a threat by one of the passengers he was wearing an explosive belt.

Fathy added that the plane arrived at Cyprus’s Larnaca airport at 7:50am.

The minister said a plane will head to Cyprus at 12:30pm to bring back the released passengers to Egypt.

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