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Man Who Attempted Hijack Sentenced

July 9, 2002

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BEIJING (AP) _ A man who was subdued by passengers during a hijacking attempt was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Shenyang Intermediate People’s Court in the northeastern province of Liaoning found Xu Wenzhong guilty of wielding a knife to hold a stewardess hostage and attempting a hijacking 10 minutes into the China Northern flight, Xinhua said. The stewardess broke away and Xu was kicked to the ground and subdued by passengers, it said.

Xu, a laid-off radio factory worker, had been a passenger aboard an April 17 flight carrying 41 passengers from the port city of Dalian on the Yellow Sea to Yanji in the far northeast, Xinhua said.

The flight landed safely in Shenyang, with no injuries.

Court officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

China suffered a spate of hijackings in the 1990s by people attempting to reach rival Taiwan. Screening at airport security checkpoints has since been tightened, especially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

In September 2000, a man was killed by passengers and crew after trying to hijack a domestic flight from China’s Inner Mongolia region to Beijing.

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