EgyptAir Hijacker Arrested in Cyprus: Officials | NBC New York
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EgyptAir Hijacker Arrested in Cyprus: Officials

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    A hijacker who took dozens of hostages aboard a commercial jet over what appeared to be a "personal" matter involving a woman was arrested after an hours-long standoff Tuesday, authorities said, NBC News reported.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Cyprus confirmed around 7:45 a.m. ET that all of the passengers and crew had been safely freed.

    The drama unfolded aboard EgyptAir Flight MS181, which was on a domestic flight en route from Alexandria to Cairo.

    A hijacker who claimed to have an explosive belt ordered the plane to diverted to either Turkey or Cyprus, according to officials. The belt was later deemed a fake.

    Sean Rayford/Getty Images

    The Airbus A320 flew to the Cypriot port city of Larnaca and landed at around 7:50 a.m. local time (12:50 a.m. ET) at which point negotiations got underway, EgyptAir said.

    The hijacker spent the first three hours of the standoff demanding to speak to his Cypriot ex-wife or give her a letter, Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told NBC News.