The three hijackers of a Dutch airliner have been promised a free passage out of Cyprus by the authorities.
The three hijackers of a Dutch airliner have been promised a free passage out of Cyprus by the authorities. The announcement followed the release of all 83 hostages onboard the aircraft at Larnaca Airport on Sunday (5 September).
SYNOPSIS: The hijackers -- identified as Palestinians -- finally surrendered the KLM DC-9 after freeing the passengers and crew. The hijack had begun near Nice on the French Riviera. From there the plane flew to Tunis and than onto Cyprus where it refuelled. It then continued into Israeli air space before returning to Larnaca where it landed with no fuel left to spare. The hijackers had announced they wanted to fly to Tel Aviv to demand the release of eight pro-Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Twice they threatened to blow up the plane in mid-air.
Once back in Larnaca a series of lengthy negotiations began. They involved Dutch representatives, the Cypriot authorities, unidentified representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Libyan Embassy. Soon after the hijackers gave up, they were driven from the airport in a car bearing diplomatic number plates. Libya has since attacked reports that the hijackers were taken to the Libyan Embassy.