Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sudanese Plane Hijacked.

CNN) -- A Sudanese plane that was hijacked shortly after taking off from Nyala in the country's Darfur region, presumably by rebels, has landed in Kufra, Libya, Sudan's ambassador to the United States said.

"I believe since it started in the sovereign state of Darfur ... it is more likely something to do with the rebels in that area," John Ukec said.

The hijacker or hijackers at first wanted to land the plane in Egypt, but the Egyptian government refused them permission, Ukec said.

About 87 passengers and 10 crew members are thought to be on board, Ukec said. It was unclear how many hijackers were on board.

A reporter from Al-Shuruq, a Dubai-based Sudanese network funded by Sudan's government, said passengers on the plane include some officials from the interim government of Darfur, Sudan's war-torn region.

Libya's state-run Jamahirya television, citing civil aviation sources, reported the hijacked plane landed in Kufra, in eastern Libya.

"We are in contact with Libyan officials because of this dangerous event," Murtada Hassam Jumaa, an official with Sun Air airlines, told Al-Shuruq. "We want to resolve this situation as soon as we can in a way where we can guarantee the safety of all our passengers."

Asked whether the airline received any threat before the flight took off, he said, "There were no signs of any terrorist or criminal activity on the plane. We checked the plane like we do with all other planes. We followed the regular security checkup. We still don't have any information on what type of weapons were used."

Jumaa also said 87 passengers were on board the plane.

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