The pilot of a hijacked Cyprus Airways plane has described the gun battle at Larnaca Airport in which 15 Egyptian commandos were killed.
The pilot of a hijacked Cyprus Airways plane has described the gun battle at Larnaca Airport in which 15 Egyptian commandos were killed. Englishman Sam Melling volunteered to fly the plane after 11 hostages were taken on board by two gunmen who killed Egyptian journalist Youssef Sibai on February 18th.
SYNOPSIS: An Egyptian transport plane was destroyed in the fighting between the commandos and Greek-Cypriot National Guardsmen at Larnaca Airport. They'd flown in to try to free the hostages and crew of the hijacked plane, but their intervention caused an international incident and resulted in Egypt's withdrawal of diplomatic relations with Cyprus.
Commandos drove up to the hijacked plane and fired tracer bullets at the front door but a National Guardsman threw a grenade into their vehicle and killed them. Captain Melling was asked what he thought would have happened if the Egyptians had succeeded in entering the plane before the hijackers had surrendered.