… And you will enjoy it
Man’s motivation remains unclear
A man wearing a fake explosives belt who hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight and forced it to land in Cyprus last night surrendered and was taken into custody after releasing all passengers and crew unharmed following an hours-long standoff.
Officials said early on that the hijacking was not an act of terrorism, and later that the man appeared to be psychologically unstable.
However, the incident was likely to renew concerns about Egyptian airport security months after a Russian passenger plane was downed over the Sinai Peninsula in a bombing claimed by ISIS.
“From the start, it was clear that this wasn’t an act of terrorism, and despite the fact that the individual appeared to be dangerous in terms of his behaviour, we understood that this was a psychologically unstable person,” said Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
He said the man initially asked to speak with his Cypriot ex-wife, who police brought to the airport.
“After that, he started asking for European Union representatives to assure him about matters that had no logical basis,” Kasoulides said.
At one point the hijacker demanded the release of women held in Egyptian prisons, but he then dropped the demand and made others.
“His demands made no sense or were too incoherent to be taken seriously,” the minister said, adding that the contents of a letter the hijacker wanted to give to his ex-wife “were also incoherent.”
Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency identified the hijacker as Seifedeen Mustafa, without providing further details. Police were questioning the hijacker's relatives, said Sharif Faisal, the police chief for the suburb of Helwan.
Schoolchildren play music to entertain and inspire people on their way home from work in Pyongyang, North Korea. The country has called a 70-day loyalty drive ahead of a major congress of the ruling party scheduled for early May and everyone from students to coal miners have been mobilised nationwide to demonstrate their devotion to the leadership.
STATEMENT: Egypt’s Sharif Fathi