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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 22:46 GMT 23:46 UK
Colombian hijack ends peacefully
Hijacker in wheelchair is carried off plane
The hijacking did not appear to have a political motive
Two men believed to be a father and son have surrendered at an airfield near Colombia's capital, Bogota, after hijacking a plane on a domestic flight.

The men left the plane after talks with a priest and presidential official during which they gradually freed the 23 passengers and crew unharmed.

They are said to have boarded the propeller-driven plane with grenades.

The father is confined to a wheelchair and the hijack may have been related to a failed demand for compensation.

It seems he had been involved in an incident with police which left him disabled, local television channel RCN reports.

The BBC's Jeremy McDermott notes that four previous hijackings of aircraft in Colombia over the last five years were linked to Marxist rebels.

Mediation

The hijackers first released women and children, then the rest of the passengers, after four hours of talks.
They continued to hold crew members as negotiators, including a presidential representative and a Roman Catholic priest, mediated.

Colombian TV showed the hijackers eventually leaving the plane, the older man carried in his wheelchair.

The plane, owned by Colombian company Aires, had been flying from the town of Florencia in the province of Caqueta.

It landed at a military airfield near Bogota's civilian El Dorado Airport.

According to a passenger allowed to leave the plane early on, the hijackers said they had a bomb concealed in the wheelchair but they did not show it.



SEE ALSO:
Colombian hijack ends peacefully
31 Jan 01 |  Americas
Hijacked Colombian plane released
09 Sep 00 |  Americas
Country profile: Colombia
24 Aug 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Colombia
14 Jul 05 |  Country profiles


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