Slain Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh was behind the hijacking of a Kuwait Airways flight in 1998 and the killing of two of its Kuwaiti passengers, the tiny Gulf state's interior minister said in remarks published Thursday. The minister, Sheik Jaber Al Khaled Al Sabah, said in comments published in the Alrai daily that the Hizbullah militant's death made Kuwaitis happy but that "we are not gloating." "The killing of the criminal Imad Mughniyeh was divine vengeance for those who killed the sons of Kuwait and threw them from planes at Limasol Airport in Cyprus," the minister said. On April 5, 1988, Shiite gunmen hijacked a Kuwaiti Airways jumbo jet en route from Thailand to Kuwait City. They diverted it to Iran, Cyprus and Algeria, demanding Kuwait free 17 pro-Iranian terrorists jailed for attacks in Kuwait. After a 16-day ordeal and the murder of two Kuwaiti passengers, hijackers freed the hostages and were allowed to leave Algiers.