Freed Hostages Said They Didn’t Know Of Killings With AM-Hijack, Bjt
LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) _ The 12 hostages freed Tuesday said they were not mistreated during eight days on a hijacked Kuwaiti jumbo jet and were unaware that their captors killed two passengers.
″We were not beaten. We were not harassed. They treated us very nicely,″ Sherif Mahbojh Badrawi said, sitting barefoot on a bed in Larnaca General Hospital.
″I didn’t see them harming anyone,″ said Badrawi, a ticketing agent in Cairo for Kuwait Airways, owner of the Boeing 747.
″The only time we felt scared was when we went to the bathroom or wanted a drink because they had pistols pointed at our head whichever way we went. We were all kept in the center of the plane.″
Mohammed Kamel Sayyid Rehan, a 32-year-old Egyptian who works as a caterer for the airline, also said the captives were treated well.
Rehan, who was returning from a three-day holiday in Bangkok when the plane was seized, said none of the passengers knew two Kuwaitis were beaten, shot to death and thrown onto the tarmac.
Like other freed hostages, Rehan appeared very tired. He asked several times how he could get in touch with his wife and four children.
About 40 people remained on the jet, among them six to eight hijackers, when it took off for Algiers early Wednesday.
Most of the released passengers wore pajamas as they sat or lay on beds at the hospital, some with intravenous tubes in their arms. Dr. George Olympios, who saw all 12, said they appeared healthy.
″No one is in a grave condition,″ he said. ″Most are in good health but are staying for observation; nothing serious apart from fatigue.″
″There were marks on the wrists of most of them,″ apparently from plastic strips used for binding, he said.
Badrawi and Rehan said they could not give a precise number of hijackers, but all were well armed.
″We saw all kinds of arms,″ Badrawi said. ″They had automatic rifles, grenades, pistols. We always saw them in pairs. I saw six all together once. They would cover their heads.″
″We saw many weapons,″ Rehan said. ″I also saw mines.″
Saadi Yousef Quttaineh, a 60-year-old Jordanian who lives in Kuwait with his family of six, said: ″I was relaxed all the time, except in the beginning I was a bit afraid. They would move us from one place to another, all together in a group. We received good treatment. We got enough water and food.″
The ticket agent, Badrawi, described the hijackers as ″good Moslems.″
They ″spoke to us in a very Koranic language,″ he said, using phrases and words common to the Moslem holy book. ″They were always using verses from the Koran.″