Hijacking Ends Peacefully in Turkey

Pair protesting US surrender after passengers and pilots flee
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2007 9:21 AM CDT
Hijacking Ends Peacefully in Turkey
Passengers leave a plane belonging to the private Atlas-Jet airline company at the Antalya airport in southwestern Turkey Saturday Aug. 18, 2007. Hijackers claiming to have bombs and to be members of al-Qaida hijacked thr Turkish passenger plane heading from northern Cyprus to Istanbul, Saturday. The...   (Associated Press)

Two hijackers of a Turkish plane claiming to be protesting US foreign policy surrendered yesterday after nearly all 136 people on board fled from the tarmac unharmed and the rest were released, the BBC reports. The men, believed to be a Turkish national and a Palestinian, tried to force their way into the cockpit after the Atlas Jet took off from northern Cyprus to divert the craft to Iran.

The pilot landed the plane, originally bound for Istanbul, in southern Turkey, claiming it needed to be refueled. As the hijackers allowed women and children to leave, almost everyone else, including the pilots, rushed out to safety. Passengers did not report seeing guns but said the hijackers had a package that might have been a bomb. (More Turkey stories.)

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