Cuba foils jet hijack by soldiers

Fugitive recruits arrested after killing unarmed officer who tried to stop attempt.

    The men seized a jet at Havana airport's terminal two which has charter flights to the US [GALLO/GETTY]
    On Sunday, the two recruits armed with automatic rifles escaped from an army base where they were doing military service.
     
    They killed a soldier and wounded another before fleeing their unit 25km from the capital.

     

    The pre-dawn incident on Thursday unfolded when the two fugitives commandeered a bus carrying several passengers to get to an aircraft on the tarmac of terminal two, which services charter flights between Havana and the US.

     

    The bus passengers were left unharmed.

     

    A third deserter was captured earlier but the ministry did not specify when.

     

    A leaflet distributed by police who had been searching for the men since Saturday, identified them as Alain Forbus, 19, Yoan Torres, 21, and Leandro Cerezo, 19, from the eastern province of Camaguey.
     

    US blamed

     

    Cuba blamed the attempted hijack on the US policy of encouraging Cubans to escape to the US by offering them virtual automatic residency.


    "The responsibility for these new murders falls on the highest US authorities, adding to a long list of terrorist acts that Cuba has been victim of for almost half a century," the government said.


    In March 2003, two domestic passenger jets were hijacked to Key West, Florida.

     

    A month later, three men who hijacked a Havana Bay ferry in a bid to cross the Florida Straits were executed by firing squad.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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