1996 News Story

Passengers of hijacked Egyptair plane safe in Cairo

All 140 passengers, many of them tourists, from the Egyptair Airbus hijacked yesterday were today safe in Cairo after being picked up by Egypt Airlines from Benghazi.   The airbus, on a flight originating in Jeddah, had stopped in Luxor on the way to Cairo.  Three passengers who boarded at Luxor, armed with molotov cocktails and gunpowder, forced the pilot to fly to Libya.   Five hours later, at the Libyan air base of Martubah, the hijackers surrendered, and the passengers were freed unharmed.   A  bus took them the 300 miles  west to Benghazi, where they were visited yesterday morning by Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi.

Egypt has thanked Libya for ending the hijacking peacefully.   Egyptian Information Minister Safwat El-Sharif reported that the Libyan authorities have started investigations with the hijackers, whose nationality is in doubt.   He said that early reports that they are Saudi Arabians from the Beni Hillali tribe have been discounted, and that they would be handed over to Egypt in accordance with extradition agreements between the two countries.