Plane flying from Cyprus to Istanbul, Turkey hijacked

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Bombardier CRJ-900 operated by Atlastjet Airlines and traveling from Lefkosa (Nicosia), Cyprus to Istanbul, has been hijacked by two men claiming to be al-Qaeda terrorists with bombs.

According to reports, the plane landed at an airport in Antalya, Turkey. At least 136 passengers and six crew members were on the plane, but most reportedly escaped. The hijackers were releasing women from the front of the plane, when most of the passengers and crew escaped through the back. Two crewmembers and four passengers remain on the plane, Tuncay Doganer, president of Atlasjet, said. Doganer said that the hijackers spoke Arabic among themselves, and the AP is reporting that the they are university students from Iran.

The hijackers requested the plane land in Tehran, Iran or Syria. Pilots landed the plane for refueling, but reports say that the pilots were among those who have been released or escaped.

Sources

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