Hijacked Russian plane ‘lands in Saudi Arabia’


A Russian plane hijacked after taking off from Istanbul today has landed at an airport in the Muslim holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia, Qatar’s al-Jazeera television reported.

An airport official told the television by telephone: “The plane has landed at Prince Mohammed bin Abdel Aziz airport” in Medina.

Earlier a Russian airline spokeswoman said the plane had landed at the nearby Jeddah airport at 18.10 pm Moscow time (1510 GMT).

Russian diplomats in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah declined to comment on the whereabouts of the plane.

The plane, with up to 166 passengers and 12 crew on board, was bound for Moscow but was hijacked shortly after leaving Istanbul by two men armed with daggers.

The men are believed to be of Chechen origin.




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