Egypt and Kenya have released three airliners-one Egyptian and two Kenyan-impounded at each other's airports in a row over alleged arms flights to Somalia.
LV: Grounded aircraft on tarmac with security cordon, Cairo airport.
SV ZOOM OUT FROM: Tail unit and sign "Kenyan Aurways" TO aircraft on tarmac.
CU: Tail unit.
The Education Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Heeralall Bhugaloo, was on board one of the Kenyan planes. Airport officials said he and his four-men delegation were escorted to a luxury hotel as guests of the Egyptian government. The Egyptian aircraft returned to Cairo on Friday (17 February) morning. Egypt's Foreign Ministry had demanded the departure from Kenya of the plane with its cargo before the Kenyan airliners could be freed.
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Background: Egypt and Kenya have released three airliners-one Egyptian and two Kenyan-impounded at each other's airports in a row over alleged arms flights to Somalia. The official Egyptian news agency Mena said in Cairo on Friday (17 February) that the release of the planes came after lengthy negotiations. Kenya had forced the Egyptian plane to land at Nairobi airport on Wednesday (15 February), claiming it was carrying arms for the Somalis and violating Kenyan air space.
SYNOPSIS: The following day, Egypt retaliated by holding two Kenyan Boeing 707 airliners. Both aircraft were then placed under heavy guard at Cairo airport.
They belonged to the state-owned Kenya Airways. The 130 passengers in the two planes continued their journey after being put on other flights out of Cairo. Airport sources said one of the Kenyan planes was flying from London to Nairobi when an Egyptian fighter intercepted it and forced the pilot to land at Cairo.
The other Kenya Airways Boeing was held when it made a scheduled stop in the Egyptian capital on its way from Nairobi to London.