• Short Summary

    Somalia would, on humanitarian ground, allow the hijacked Lufthansa Boeing 737 to land there only if its hostage passengers were in danger.

  • Description

    SCU INT: Mr. Dahir Hussein Dirir, Somali Embassy Counsellor in Kenya, speaking in English with newsmen.

    TRANSCRIPT: UNSEEN REPORTER: "It was announced in Frankfurt yesterday (14 October) that the hijackers of Lufthansa plane have asked that the prisoners have been flown to three countries, Somalia..."

    SEQ. 1: DAHIR HUSSEIN DIRIR: "...Yemen South and Vietnam."

    REPORTER: "...can you imagine that your government is accepting these Germans?"

    DIRIR: "My government would not accept. If there is some dangers in the procedures, they may accept...some dangers in the procedures. To save the life of the people in the plane, like, like...."

    REPORTER: "Your government will not accept except if there some danger?"

    DIRIR: "Some danger as to the passengers, to the people..."

    REPORTER: "You mean sickness, or something?"

    DIRIR: "No, some killings, some killings, something like that."

    REPORTER: "Do you mean if there is..."

    DIRIR: "As I am telling you, as Algeria accepted for the sake of humanitarian..to save the life of the others."

    REPORTER: "So, you can very well imagine if there is an Algeria situation, that you take them?"

    DIRIR: "I don't know what we'll do. If there is some which will kill the passengers, then we'll try to avoid as much as we can."

    REPORTER: "So, if there was danger to the passengers, Somalia would consider letting the plane land there? Or...sorry...letting the people fly there?"

    DIRIR: "Let me clarify this. If we see that the passengers are in danger, that these people are that determined to kill them, at least to save those people, for the humanitarian sake, we shall do whatever necessary."

    The Iraqi News Agency in Aden reported Monday (17 October) that the Lufthansa pilot, Captain Juergen Schumann, 37, was shot dead on the flight between Aden and Mogadishu. The agency said that Captain Schumann had at first refused to take off from Aden because the Boeing's undercarriage had been damaged when it landed there, and that the killing had taken place after a fierce argument in flight.

    Initials JS/1730

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Somalia would, on humanitarian ground, allow the hijacked Lufthansa Boeing 737 to land there only if its hostage passengers were in danger. Mr. Dahir Hussein Dirir, a counsellor at the Somali Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, stated this position at a news conference on Saturday (15 October), when the airliner was still at Dubai airport. Two days later (Monday, 17 October) the airliner did touch down in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, its sixth landing place since it was hijacked on Wednesday (12 October). At his news conference, Mr. Dirir had stated that his government would not accept the aircraft, then spelled out the danger factors which could bring approval.

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