After diverting an EgyptAir flight to Cyprus, the lone hijacker on board the aircraft allowed all the passengers, barring four foreign passengers to disembark. He also did not allow the cabin crew of the aircraft or the pilots to leave the aircraft.
A photo of the hijacker has also been obtained:
A Cyprus official was quoted as saying that 56 people on board the hijacked EgyptAir plane have been released and have left the aircraft, reports AP.
An AlArabiya report said that the hijacker had asked for political asylum, a translator and a letter to be delivered to his ex-wife who lives in Cyprus.
The hijacker was identified as Ibrahim Samaha, by Egyptian media, but no further details were immediately available about the reason for him hijacking the flight.
Flight MS181 from Alexandria to Cairo left at 8 am this morning after which it was hijacked.
A statement from EgyptAir in Arabic said that the pilot perceived a threat to the aircraft due to a passenger suspected to be wearing a suicide vest. The hijacker demanded that the flight be diverted to Cyrpus.
Negotiations are presently on with the hijacker, said the statement.