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Hijack attempt on Alitalia plane thwarted

posted 25 Apr 2011, 08:39 by Mpelembe   [ updated 25 Apr 2011, 08:41 ]
Police in Italy arrest a man after he attempts a hijack on a Paris-Rome flight, demanding that the plane be taken to Libya.
ITALY-FRANCE HIJACK - Arrested on arrival at Rome's Fiumicino airport - this man is being held in police custody after an alleged attempt to hijack the plane he was travelling on.

The 48 year old reportedly held a small knife to the throat of a female flight attendant and demanded that the Alitalia plane be flown to Libya.

Witnesses say he was quickly overpowered, and arrested when flight AZ329 from Paris to Rome landed.

UNIDENTIFIED PASSENGER:

"At first we did not realise what was happening, then some men saw something and they stepped up and blocked him... I was afraid, when I realised what was going on I was afraid."

A security investigation is underway at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, where the alleged hijacker - a Kazakhstan citizen who worked in the French capital - began his journey.

Other passengers at the airport said they weren't overly concerned about security here, despite the incident.

PASSENGER, ERIC:

"I think security is sufficient as it is, and 100 percent secure. There will always be someone who finds their way around it. And we can't always live with this pressure of permanent alert, I think they do enough, it's ok."

The flight attendant who was attacked was taken to a first aid station in Rome for some minor treatment.

No other injuries were reported.

Simon Hanna, Reuters.

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