A Knife-carrying Lebanese hijacked an airliner with one hundred and thirty-seven people on board on Monday (28 January), on a flight bound from Baghdad in Iraq, to Beirut.
GV Hijacked Boeing 720 Airliner on runway at Beirut airport
SV Newsmen talking to hijacker on steps of plane
SV INTERIOR aircraft, hostages seated
SV Hijacker speaking through megaphone, as newsmen cluster around on top of steps (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR aircraft with hostage seated
SV Hijacker being taken away by security forces, and driven off in car (2 shots)
GV Hostages leaving plane
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Background: A Knife-carrying Lebanese hijacked an airliner with one hundred and thirty-seven people on board on Monday (28 January), on a flight bound from Baghdad in Iraq, to Beirut. The man surrendered after being allowed to give a news conference at Beirut airport. It was the second hijacking in ten days by Shi'ite Moslems, trying to draw attention to the disappearance of their religious leader Imam Musa Sadr, who disappeared after a trip to the Libyan Jamahiriyah in August 1978.
SYNOPSIS: The Boeing 720, belonged to Middle East Airlines (MEA). The hijacker, identified as a Southern Lebanese named Ali Issa, had his wife and four children aboard the aircraft. His unusual ransom request -- a news conference at Beirut airport -- was quickly arranged, and newsmen checked to see that the hostages were unharmed.
Mr issa called on the Islamic Conference, then being held in Islamabad, to discuss the Imam's disappearance. He praised Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, another Shi'ite, and called for the Lebanese army to be deployed throughout the turbulent South Lebanese border region near Israel.
The Libyan authorities have denied responsibility for the Imam's disappearance, saying he left their country after his visit in 1978. The hostages left the aircraft, but the two recent hijackers have warned that such acts would continue until the mystery of the missing Imam's whereabouts is answered to their satisfaction. There are three hundred thousand Shi'ite Moslems in Lebanon.