Egyptian and Turk charged with plane hijacking

August 22, 2007 22:58


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An Egyptian man claiming ties with al-Qaida and his Turkish accomplice were formally arrested late Wednesday, local media said, after four days of interrogation following the two men's alleged attempt to hijack a Turkish plane to Iran. A prosecutor charged the two men with "membership in armed terrorist organization, hijacking airplane and endangering freedoms," and asked a court in the province of Antalya to arrest them, private news agency Dogan said. The men were then sent to a nearby prison. Mommen Abdul Aziz Talikh - wielding a fake bomb made of play dough - and Turkish citizen Mehmet Resat Ozlu hijacked an Atlasjet flight shortly after it took off Saturday morning from northern Cyprus, police said. The hijackers wanted to divert the Istanbul-bound airliner to Iran, police said. The pilots instead landed in Antalya, in Turkey's southwest, on the pretext of refueling and fled the aircraft, starting a four-and-a-half hour standoff between police and the two men, who did not know how to fly an airplane.

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