CAIRO: Egypt has expressed “sincere thanks and appreciation” to the leadership and government of Cyprus for their “full support and close cooperation” over the hijacking of EgyptAir jet Tuesday, the presidency announced Tuesday afternoon.
“Cypriot authorities have shown during the past few hours their distinguished rapid response, high professionalism and wisdom in dealing with difficult security challenges like the hijacking accident today,” said the statement.
On Tuesday morning, an EgyptAir shuttle plane scheduled to travel from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked by a man claimed he was wearing an explosive belt.
The man, who identified by Egyptian presidency as Seif el-Din Mostafa, forced the pilot to land in Laranca Airport in Cyprus; the flight MS181 carried 72 passengers and crew members.
The hijacker was later announced to be arrested after Cyprus security forces reportedly stormed the plane and freed the rest of the passengers.
Spokesperson for the Cyprus government Nikos Christodoulides posted updates on the status of the hijacked plane on his Twitter account, lastly ensuring that all the passengers and the crew were freed and safe.
In Tuesday statements to reporters, Egyptian Prime Minister Sheirf Ismail said motives of the attacker were yet unknown.