Passengers foil Turkey 'hijacking'

Suspect tackled after attempting to storm cockpit on flight from Norway to Istanbul, Turkish media report.

    Police arrested the suspect immediately upon landing at Istanbul's Ataturk airport [Reuters]

    A hijack attempt on a Turkish Airlines flight from Norway to Istanbul has been foiled by passengers.

    Turkish media, citing security officials, said a Turkish passenger on board the Boeing 737-800 stormed the cockpit less than an hour before arrival in Turkey on Wednesday.

    Officials said the man claimed to have a bomb and demanded the aircraft return to Oslo.

    But passengers on the flight tackled the suspect and the plane landed safely at Istanbul's Ataturk airport at 1930GMT, media reports said.

    "We were 50 minutes away from touchdown when I heard a lot of noise at the back of the plane," Salim Tahar, a passenger, told Norway's TV2 Nyhetskanalen.

    "I turned round and there was a person who had his face covered, was wearing a cap
    and had dark clothes.

    "The man spoke Turkish and demanded the plane return to Oslo," Tahar said.

    Police arrested the suspect immediately upon landing. No explosive device was found.

    Officials identified the man as 40-year-old Yasar Cuma, a Turkish national from a Kurdish village in the southeastern region of Anatolia.

    After police interrogated Cuma they found he was suffering from psychological problems, the Anatolia news agency said.

    The plane was carrying 60 passengers, including a child, and seven crew members.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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