Saudi Airlines hijack attempt foiled - airline


Guards have foiled a hijack attempt by a lone gunman aboard a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Sudan with 204 passengers and crew on board, the airline said.

Egypt's Middle East New Agency (Mena) quoted Sudanese sources as saying three Saudi hijackers were involved and that there were apparently some passengers hurt. The airline said there were no injuries.

Saudi Arabian Airlines said in a statement: "A passenger armed with a pistol hijacked the plane . . . but special forces on board the flight immediately disarmed and arrested him with help from crew".

It said the aircraft returned to Khartoum international airport and landed safely. Sudanese authorities were interrogating the Saudi hijacker.

The airline said the gunman had tried to take control of flight 450 from Khartoum to the Saudi city of Jeddah 22 minutes after it took off with 185 passengers and 19 crew on board.

The statement gave no motive for the hijack attempt. It said the flight would resume to Saudi Arabia as soon as Sudanese authorities gave permission.

The Mena agency quoted the Sudanese sources as saying Sudanese security forces arrested three Saudi hijackers on the Airbus 310.