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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Man tries to hijack S.Africa plane

JOHANNESBURG, June 17 (Reuters) - A man, believed to be armed, tried to hijack a South African Airways domestic flight on Saturday but was subdued before he could enter the cockpit, the airline said.

"South African Airways (SAA) can confirm an incident occurred today on SA 322 from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The flight turned back to Cape Town and landed safely," SAA spokeswoman Jacqui O'Sullivan said in a statement.

"It appears a passenger threatened a crew member with some sort of weapon demanding access to the cockpit. The passenger was subdued," O'Sullivan said but gave no further details.

A passenger on the plane told Reuters the man was believed to be a foreign national but the motive for his actions was unclear.

"As we speak he has been handcuffed and leg-cuffed," passenger Georgie Frater told Reuters by telephone from the plane.

Police were not immediately available to comment.
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