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Egyptian Hijacking Suspect To Be Held For Eight Days

The Egyptian man who admitted to hijacking an EgyptAir plane and forcing it to land in Cyprus has been ordered by a court there to remain in detention for eight days.

The suspect, identified as 59-year-old Seif Eddin Mustafa, appeared in court for the first time in Larnaca on March 30.

He faces charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping, and threats to commit violence.

The hijacking on March 29 ended peacefully when police arrested the suspect after all 72 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A320 aircraft were released.

An explosive belt he had threatened to blow the plane up with turned out to be a fake.

Police prosecutor Andreas Lambrianou said that the suspect told police: "What's someone supposed to do when he hasn't seen his wife and children in 24 years and the Egyptian government won't let him?"

Based on reporting by AP and AFP