A passenger with a suicide belt threatened the pilot of a hijacked EgyptAir plane that was diverted to Cyprus on Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said pilot Omar al-Gammal had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger who possessed a suicide belt and forced him to land in Larnaca.
The hijacker asked police to back away from the aircraft, the broadcaster said.
Earlier, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported that 56 passengers were on board and a crew of seven and as at the time of this report, Cyprus official says 56 people on board the hijacked EgyptAir plane have been released and have left the aircraft except for five foreigners and the crew.
"The negotiations with the hijacker have resulted in the release of all the plane passengers with the exception of the crew and five foreigners," the airline said in a statement.