Hijacked: Egypt Air passenger plane with passengers from the USA, UK, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands and Egypt


UPDATE: Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister says 7 people remain on the plane, including 3 passengers.

Here is what happened so far:

An Egypt Air A320 on a domestic flight from Cairo from Alexandria on Tuesday was rerouted to Cyprus after a man claiming to wear an explosive belt forced the crew to leave Egyptian air space.

The plane landed safely in Cairo. EgyptAir says negotiations result in release of all aboard hijacked plane except 4 foreigners and the crew.

Egypt Air is a member of the Star Alliance group.

Later at least 5 more people who appear to be wearing crew uniforms have been released from the hijacked EgyptAir plane in Cyprus.

The hijacker is seeking asylum in Cyprus. Cyprus is a member of the European Union.

Cyprus media reported the hijacker may have personal, rather than political motives. The local media is reporting he has demanded asylum in Cyprus, but this has not been confirmed.

BBC is citing the head of Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Airport, where the EgyptAir flight took off, as saying there were eight Americans, four Britons, two Belgians, one Italian, four Dutch and 30 Egyptians on board the flight. This number does not detail the nationalities of the remaining passengers and crew being held on board.

When the hijacked airplane left Egypt Air Space Israel had its Air Force take off and watch the plane. The Israel Air Force jets return to bases after hijacked EgyptAir plane lands in Cyprus.