NEWS

Egypt Air hijacker demands to see ex-wife, seeks asylum in Cyprus

TAGS: Cyprus

The man who hijacked an Egypt Air flight en route from Alexandria to Cairo and demanded that it be landed at Larnaca airport, has asked authorities to put him in touch with his former wife, a Cypriot national and mother of their four children, Cypriot media are reporting.

The suspect who allegedly took control of Flight MS181 by threatening to detonate a suicide vest has released all of the 50-60 passengers on board after negotiations with the carrier and is still holding the craft’s crew.

Cyprus’s RIK TV reported that the man, possibly an Egyptian national, said that he wanted "to deliver a message" to a woman who was later identified as his ex-wife. He is also said to have demanded asylum from the EU member-state.

According to the latest reports, the woman, named as Marina Paraschou, is en route to the airport.

Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades told journalists that all precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the flight's passengers and crew. He said that the incident is not being treated as a terrorist threat but, rather, as a personal matter. 

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