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Hijacker 'wanted the foreigners' - EgyptAir stewardess

AP


Cyprus — An EgyptAir stewardess says the man who hijacked the plane she was working on checked passengers' passports to find out who was not an Arab.

Rouida Ihab told The Associated Press that the hijacker "wanted the foreigners ... only foreigners. He didn't want Egyptians or double nationalities."

She also says the initial confusion about his identity came about because the hijacker was sitting in a seat that had been assigned to another passenger.

Authorities say Seif Eddin Mustafa, a 59-year-old Egyptian, has admitted hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight Tuesday, 29 March, and diverting it to Cyprus by threatening to blow it up with a fake explosives belt. He has been detained in Cyprus.

He faces charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping and threats to commit violence.

Egypt has asked Cyprus to extradite the Egyptian man who hijacked the plane. Egyptian General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek's office says he has asked Cyprus to "take necessary measures to extradite Mustafa in order to start an investigation," according to a statement.

The request came hours after a Cyprus court on Wednesday ordered eight days of detention for Mustafa.

A British man who was pictured with a man who hijacked an EgyptAir plane says he's not sure why he posed for the bizarre photo.

Ben Innes told The Sun newspaper he wanted to take "the selfie of a lifetime" while the hijack was unfolding at a Cyprus airport.

The photo of Innes standing next to the hijacker with what looked like an exposed suicide vest went viral on social media within hours. The vest turned out to be fake and all the plane's passengers and crew were released unharmed Tuesday. The hijacker has been arrested.

Innes, 26, told the newspaper in a story published Wednesday that he had been texting his mother throughout the ordeal. He says "I figured if his bomb was real I'd nothing to lose anyway."

YOU CAN SEE THE PHOTO HERE: UK passenger takes selfie with EgyptAir hijacker

Tuesday's dramatic hijacking ended peacefully when police arrested the suspect after all 72 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A320 plane were released.


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