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Summary

  1. EgyptAir Flight MS181 was diverted to Cyprus from Egypt after being hijacked on 29 March 2016
  2. Hijacker told the pilot he had an explosives belt
  3. Most passengers were immediately freed but a number were held on board
  4. They eventually left the plane - one making a dramatic jump from a cockpit window
  5. The crisis ended with the arrest of the alleged hijacker
  6. Authorities now say they will question the "unstable" suspect over his motives

Live Reporting

By Becky Branford, Kevin Ponniah and Marie Jackson

All times stated are UK

  1. Summary of the day's events

    Crew member climbs out of cockpit window

    With the alleged hijacker in custody and all of the plane's passengers and crew said to be safe, we will be ending this live page.

    To recap:

    • A man hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 carrying at least 55 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday morning, forcing it to land in Cyprus.
    • Most passengers were released immediately, but at least seven people, including crew members, were kept on the plane.
    • The crisis drew to a conclusion several hours later. The remaining hostages began to emerge from the plane, with one making a dramatic jump from a cockpit window. 
    • The suspected hijacker then emerged with his hands up, and was arrested.
    • The man is being interrogated and the "suicide belt" he was said to be wearing was reportedly fake.

    Several questions remain about the incident, with answers expected to emerge in the coming hours and days.

    • Why did Seif Eldin Mustafa, identified as the hijacker by Cypriot authorities, decide to hijack the EgyptAir plane?
    • What were the exact demands that he made?
    • What happened to the hostages kept on the plane at Larnaca airport? 
    • The incident has raised fresh fears about Egyptian aviation security - how did a man wearing what appeared to be a bomb belt board a commercial flight?

    That's it for now - please visit the BBC News website for the latest updates.

  2. Video published of 'hijack suspect' being searched

    The Egyptian interior ministry publishes a video on its Facebook page showing a man it has identified as the alleged hijacker being searched at the airport in Alexandria, from where the plane departed. The security camera video shows a man wearing a loose dark jacket over a white shirt place a satchel-type bag on the conveyor belt. He then walks through the scanner and holds his arms out while he is frisked. He empties his pockets before scooping up his only bag and walking out of shot.

  3. Hijacking suspect 'frisked and interrogated'

    More details are emerging of the alleged hijacker's arrest. AFP say counter-terrorism police frisked the suspected hijacker on the tarmac then interrogated him for more than an hour before boarding the plane and searching it with sniffer dogs.

  4. Picture: Flights out of Larnaca cancelled

    Larnaca airport has been closed for most of the day, with scheduled flights diverted elsewhere.This stranded passenger takes in a departure board full of delayed and cancelled flights.

    Man looks at departures board
  5. Explosives belt 'was fake'

    EgyptAir release a statement quoting security sources as saying the explosive belt that the hijacker allegedly said he was wearing was fake.

  6. Picture: 'Hijack suspect' holds hands aloft

    This picture is thought to show the alleged hijacker surrendering to security forces after a six-hour standoff at Larnaca airport.

    A man believed to be the hijacker of the EgyptAir Airbus A-320 surrenders to security forces after a six-hour standoff
  7. 'No explosives' in suspect's belt

    Cypriot officials say initial searches of the suspected hijacker have revealed that the white belt he was wearing contained no explosives. But searches of the plane are said to be continuing.

  8. Crew faced difficult decision - aviation security expert

    Philip Baum, the editor of Aviation Security International magazine, says that dealing with a hijacker who may or may not have a genuine explosives vest poses a difficult dilemma for an airline.

    Philip Baum
    Quote Message: "Ultimately it was the crew members that had to evaluate whether it was better to attempt to overpower the hijacker or to actually accede to their demands and to divert the aircraft as they elected to do. So sometimes if the worst thing that happens is burning a few hours' extra fuel, and delaying things, it's better just to go along with the hijacker's demands." from Philip Baum Aviation security expert
    Philip BaumAviation security expert
  9. Hijacker 'asked to meet with EU officials'

    The man who hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 asked to meet with "a representative of the European Union," Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail says.

    He also asked to go to another airport, but did not demand a specific destination. 

    The man's motives remain unclear. 

  10. Picture: Alleged hijacker leaves plane before arrest

    A picture has emerged of the man thought to be the hijacker leaving the plane before his arrest.

    Hijacker of EgyptAir plane
  11. Fresh fears over Egyptian aviation security

    This incident has raised fresh concerns about the safety of Egyptian aviation five months after a Russian airliner was blown out of the sky above the Sinai desert, killing all 224 people on board, says the BBC's Orla Guerin in Cairo. In the wake of the bombing, authorities had conducted reviews of airport security but this incident suggests there could still be systemic failures. 

  12. Alleged hijacker 'appeared unstable'

    A short time ago at a news conference in Nicosia, Cypriot officials raised questions about the mental health of the alleged hijacker, saying he seemed "unstable".

  13. Video of hostage jumping out of cockpit window

    Watch one of the hostages jump out of the cockpit window, minutes before the alleged hijacker was arrested and walked out of the plane with his hands held above his head.

    Video content

    Video caption: Person jumps from hijacked plane cockpit window
  14. Suspect to be questioned about motive

    Reuters quotes the Egyptian prime minister as saying authorities would question the alleged hijacker to ascertain his true motives. 

  15. Alleged hijacker 'emerges with hands held up'

    Reuters are quoting Cyprus reports that the alleged hijacker has emerged from the plane with his hands held up.

  16. BreakingEgyptAir 'hijacker' arrested

    The Cypriot foreign affairs ministry says the crisis has ended with the arrest of the alleged hijacker

  17. More disembarking from EgyptAir plane

    Live pictures of the hijacked EgyptAir plane on the tarmac in Cyprus appear to show more people leaving. Reuters are reporting a fifth person seen leaving. If earlier reports are accurate, this would mean at least two people remain on the plane.