An alleged hijacker who forced an Egyptian plane to divert to Cyprus and took passengers and crew hostage was wearing a fake suicide vest, officials have confirmed.
The plane was carrying 56 passengers, including 26 foreigners – four of whom were Britons – on an EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo when a man on board claimed to have an explosive belt.
Most of those on board were freed shortly after the plane landed at Larnaca airport on the Mediterranean island at 8.50am, before the hijacker, identified as Seif El Din Mustafa, held seven people hostage for a number of hours.
The man was arrested minutes after some of those being held were seen walking down the stairs of the plane, with another escaping through a cockpit window before they were led away by security officers.
Officials revealed the explosive vest the man was apparently wearing was not real, the airline said.