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Saudi Airliner Crew Foils Hijack

October 15, 2002

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KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ A Saudi passenger attempted to hijack a Saudi Arabian Airlines jet Tuesday soon after it left Khartoum, but the flight crew managed to overcome the man and arrest him, a Sudanese official said.

The Airbus 300 jetliner returned to Khartoum and all passengers and crew were safe, said Maj. Gen. Sayyid al-Husseini, spokesman for Sudan’s Interior Ministry.

The plane took off for Jiddah, Saudi Arabia at 10:15 a.m., and the man tried to take over the aircraft about 15 minutes later, a statement from al-Husseini said. It said the crew subdued the would-be hijacker but did not make clear if the man was armed.

After the plane returned to Khartoum, authorities searched it for explosives but found nothing, the statement said.

The statement did not identify the man involved or give any possible motive, saying only he was a Saudi and his background was being investigated. It also did not say how many passengers and crew were aboard the plane, or when it would resume its journey.

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