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Hijack drama ends in Switzerland

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 00:37

Feb. 17 - Swiss authorities detain the hijacker of an Ethiopian Airlines plane forced to land in Geneva. Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Swiss authorities detained the hijacker of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that was forced to land at Geneva's international airport on Monday, airport police said, adding that passengers and crew were safe. The situation was "under control", police said after flight ET 702 had been diverted from its original destination of Rome. The airline earlier said the flight from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa had been "forced to proceed" to Geneva. An Ethiopian government spokesman told Reuters the flight had made a scheduled stop in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, where he said the hijacker or hijackers might have boarded the flight. In an apparent recording of a radio communication between the aircraft and air traffic control posted on the social media site Twitter, a demand for asylum can clearly be heard. "We need asylum or assurance we will not be transferred to the Ethiopian government," the voice in the recording said, posted by Twitter user @MatthewKeysLive. Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the recording and it was not immediately clear whether it was a hijacker or pilot speaking from the plane. A Reuters witness later said passengers had been seen leaving the plane.

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Hijack drama ends in Switzerland

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 00:37