x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Hijacking of Russian passenger plane foiled

Man overpowered by special forces who boarded the aircraft disguised as doctors.

MOSCOW // Russian special forces quickly overpowered a man after he briefly seized a plane with 105 passengers onboard at a Moscow airport, officials said. The plane, which departed from the southern Russian city of Mineralniye Vody, was landing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport when a passenger handed a note to a crew member demanding a meeting with journalists and officials, Tatyana Trunova, a spokeswoman for transport police, said in televised comments.

The plane was freed two hours later by special forces who boarded the plane disguised as doctors after the hijacker agreed to allow several passengers medical attention, Trunova said. It was unclear how he had gained control of the plane. "It was the fastest aircraft-freeing operation in the history of civil aviation," airport spokeswoman Yelena Galanova said in a statement. Mineralniye Vody is in Russia's troubled North Caucasus region, which suffers daily violence attributed to separatist militants. * Associated Press