Airplane hijacker captured in Jamaica; no injuries

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April 20, 2009 16:06
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A gunman forced his way though airport security and hijacked a Canadian jet near Montego Bay, holding six crew members hostage for eight hours before police and soldiers stormed the aircraft on Monday and captured the man. Nobody was killed or injured in the ordeal, which ended with a raid near daylight after talks broke down with a 20-year-old Jamaican hijacker described as "mentally challenged." "We were getting nowhere with the negotiations," Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz told The Associated Press. "Police and military went on the plane and captured him." The suspect identified as Stephen Fray was in custody. Vaz said he is a "mentally challenged" 20-year-old man from the northwestern resort city of Montego Bay. He did not detail the man's mental condition but said he was apparently upset over a failed relationship. The hostage crisis that began around 10:20 p.m. Sunday and ended near 6:40 a.m., when members of the Jamaica Defence Force Counter Terrorism Operations Group stormed the aircraft's cabin, according to a police statement. The young man boarded CanJet Airlines Flight 918 in Montego Bay and demanded to be flown to Cuba, Vaz told The Associated Press. A total of 159 passengers and eight crew members were aboard the Boeing 737 at the time, according to Jamaican police. Police said all the passengers and two crew members were released after a short time.

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