Egyptian officials said early Tuesday that EgyptAir flight MS181 from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus. An EgyptAir spokeswoman said Cyprus was the destination chosen by the hijacker, and Cyprus state radio reports that the plane, an Airbus with 81 passengers aboard, has landed at Larnaca airport. At least one of the passengers told the pilot he was wearing an explosive belt, EgyptAir said. A Cypriot official tells The Associated Press that it “seems like there’s more than one hijacker,” but that the only demand so far is that police vehicles not approach the aircraft.
Some of the women and children on board were allowed to disembark, according to officials in Egypt and Cyprus.
UPDATE (4:13 a.m. EDT): EgyptAir said on Twitter that almost all of the passengers have been released, while Cypriot officials put the number freed at 56.
Negotiations with the Hijacker result in the release of all the passengers, except the crew and four foreigners.
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) March 29, 2016
UPDATE (5:04 a.m. EDT): The hijacker reportedly has asked to speak with his estranged Cypriot wife, BBC News reports, and she is being brought to the airport to talk with him. “It is not something which has to do with terrorism,” said Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. When a reporter asked if the hijacking was prompted by romantic frustration, Anastasiades laughed: “Always there is a woman involved.” Peter Weber