UPDATE: Cyprus announces hijacker as Seif Eddin Mostafa

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read
Twinning project aims to look into the difference of legislations between Egypt and the EU and try to reduce the gap (Photo from Smart Aviation)

The Cypriot foreign ministry has identified the hijacker as Seif Eddin Mostafa, following previous reports naming the hijacker as Ibrahim Salama.

Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy confirmed only three passengers and four crew members are currently held hostages on the hijacked EgyptAir plane.

Fathy held a press conference to brief reporters on the case. The minister refused to reveal the nationalities of the held passengers.

“Until now, no clear demands were pronounced by the hijacker,” said Fathy.

The minister did not confirm the name of the hijacker, and called on reporters to allow officials to investigate the incident.

The previously alleged hijacker Ibrahim Samaha, a professor at Alexandria University, denied being behind the hijacking and told BBC he was among other 52 freed passengers.

The plane was scheduled to fly from Borg Al-Arab near Alexandria to Cairo International Airport, before a hijacker purportedly wearing an explosive belt demanded that the pilot Omar Al-Gamal reroute the plane.

The hijacker first demanded that the pilot to head to Turkey, but the pilot told him that there was not enough fuel to complete this route, according to a family member of the pilot. The plane landed in the Cypriot airport at 8:50.

Cypriot officials informed the Egyptian crisis management that there are no explosives on the EgyptAir plane.

The Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades told reporters that “in any case it [the hijacking] is not something which has to do with terrorism”.

Sources told Daily News Egypt that the hijacker demanded political asylum in Cyprus and also requested an interpreter.

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