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Terrorists Hijack Plane To Protest Pope’s Visit

From those lovers of terrorism at the BBC:

Turkish plane seized in hijacking

A Turkish airliner flying from Tirana to Istanbul has been hijacked and flown to Brindisi in southern Italy in an apparent protest against the Pope.

It sent out an SOS twice in Greek airspace, and both Greece and Italy scrambled fighter jets to escort it before it landed in Brindisi.

All of the Turkish Airlines plane’s 107 passengers are said to be unhurt.

Turkish sources say there are two hijackers and they are protesting about the Pope’s planned visit to Turkey.

According to Turkey’s private television channel NTV, the two hijackers, who oppose Pope Benedict’s visit scheduled for November, are ready to surrender.

A Greek defence official who spoke to Reuters said the plane had entered Greek air space at 1758 (1458 GMT) and four Greek fighters took off to escort it.

The Italian air force in turn sent up two F-16s to intercept the plane and reportedly forced it to land.

‘Not aggressive’

Candan Karlitekin, chairman of Turkish Airlines’ board of directors, said nobody had been hurt and the hijackers were apparently not threatening passengers.

"The passengers are not under any threat," he was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

"They will surrender, they declared that they will surrender the moment they hijacked the plane."

Salvatore Sciacchitano, deputy director of the Italian civil aviation authority, also said the hijackers appeared to be "not aggressive" and ready to free the passengers, AFP reports.

A speech by Pope Benedict suggesting a link between Islam and violence sparked angry protests in Turkey and other mainly Muslim countries last month.

Just more of what the BBC likes to describe as "so-called terrorism."

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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