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A look at plane hijackings by Ethiopians

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A glance at previous hijackings involving Ethiopians:

—Nov. 25, 1991: Two men and an Ethiopian woman brandishing fake hand grenades hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines jet carrying 88 people on a domestic flight, then freed all those aboard after landing in Djibouti.

—Aug. 28-30, 1992: Four Ethiopians hijack an Ethiopian Airlines jet on a domestic flight and force it to fly to Djibouti, where they release their hostages. They surrender after flying to Italy and asking for asylum.

—Feb. 11, 1993: An Ethiopian man smuggled a pistol onto a plane and hijacked a Lufthansa flight going from Frankfurt to Addis Ababa. He demanded it be flown to the U.S. because he was denied a visa. He surrendered to authorities in New York after the plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

—Nov. 9, 1995: An Ethiopian man trying to avoid going home used a knife from a food tray to commandeer an Olympic Airlines jet from Australia, where he was being deported from, just before it landed in Athens, Greece. Police overpowered the hijacker with no injuries to the 114 people on board.

—March 17, 1995: Five armed men seized an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner and demanded the plane be flown to Greece and then Sweden. It was instead diverted to Al Obeid, 300 miles (480 kilometers) west of Khartoum, Sudan where the hijackers surrendered, ending a 24-hour standoff after Sudan promised to help them seek asylum in Sweden.

—November 1996: Hijackers storm cockpit of flight from Ethiopia to Ivory Coast via Kenya, demanding to go to Australia. The plane runs out of fuel and crashes off the island nation of Comoros, killing 125 of the 175 people aboard.

— April 26, 2001: Five military pilot trainees who flunked flight school reportedly wrested control of a plane during a flight from Bahr Dar, in northwestern Ethiopia, to Addis Ababa and demanded to be flown to Saudi Arabia. The plane didn’t have enough fuel so it landed in neighboring Sudan.

—June 9, 2002: Two passengers armed with small knives and an explosive device attempted to hijack a domestic Ethiopian flight but were shot and killed by in-flight security, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Associated Press

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