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Passengers of Egypt’s Hijacked Plane Arrive at Cairo Airport

The passengers of Egypt’s previously hijacked Egyptian airplane arrived at Cairo International Airport on Tuesday evening.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy(C) receives interviews after passengers of the hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 arrived at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt.

Earlier in the day, all 81 passengers, including 21 foreigners, were freed in Cyprus and the kidnapper was arrested.

Two passengers of the hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 embrace their family members at Cairo International Airport.

EgyptAir’s Airbus 320 was in a domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo before it was hijacked by Seif-Eddin Mostafa, a 59-year-old Egyptian, who wore a fake explosive belt and forced the crew to land in Larnaca airport in Cyprus.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, accompanied by Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy who went earlier Tuesday to Cyprus, met with the passengers and crew members at the airport.

Most of our security experts confirmed that the belt was not explosive, the Egyptian aviation minister told reporters at the airport.

"The belt was not explosive and that is why it did not appear at the security check machine at the airport, without any material that can be detected," he added.

Egyptian Tourism Minister Mohamed Yahia Rashed told the press that the incident has "a positive sign" as it showed the professional and quick response of the Egyptian authorities.

A passenger of the hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 also embraces her family member at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt, March 29, 2016.

"Within hours, we successfully saved all the passengers and no one of them was hurt, while the hijacker was arrested," the minister said, adding that this is a testimony for the Egyptian security system and a message that Egypt is safe.

Egyptian official reports said the incident was not terrorism-related and that the hijacker was "a fraudulent and a forger" who faced relevant charges in lawsuit cases.

The picture shows the previous Passengers from the hijacked EgyptAir aircraft at Larnaca airport.

The Interior Ministry said in an earlier statement on Tuesday that the man had a Cypriot ex-wife. He had been sentenced to one year in jail but escaped amid the 2011 political turmoil, then went back to prison in January 2014 and was released last year.

By Robert Muriisa.

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