The hijacking of an EgyptAir flight that forced it to divert to Cyprus has ended with the peaceful surrender of the hijacker and all hostages being released.

EgyptAir Flight MS181 had been carrying 56 passengers, six crew, and a security officer, from Alexandria to Cairo, when a man took control of the aircraft after claiming to be wearing a suicide belt and diverted the plane to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus.

The majority of the hostages were quickly released, but the hijacker kept seven people on board the plane with him on the airport runway.

It remains uncertain whether the man was wearing a suicide vest or bluffing in negotiations, and he made no clear demands.

Conflicting reports say that he wanted to speak with his estranged wife, who lived in Cyrpus, or that his motivation was to secure the release of female prisoners in Egypt.

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