Armed hijacker of Biman flight neutralised, no other casualties

- A Monitor Desk Report 24 Feb, 2019 | 704 Views|-+
Dhaka: The alleged armed hijacker of Biman Bangladesh Airlines had been neutralised in military operation after he hijacked a Biman flight and forced the pilot to land at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chottogram.

Maj Gen Motiur Rahman, General Commanding Officer, Chattogram confirmed the casualty at Shah Amanat International airport this evening in a post-operation briefing.

“We didn’t have the chance to negotiate. Our commandos had to act swiftly. He was initially injured and later died,” he said in the briefing.

“The attacker, about 25 years of age, took an attacking position. There was no other way out. Bangladesh Navy tried to negotiate with him,” he added.

Earlier the plane made an emergency landing at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chottogram. The Flight BG-147 was on its way to Dubai from Dhaka via Chottogram, landed at the airport around 5:40pm on Sunday, February 24.

Bangladesh Army, Police, Rapid Action Battalion and Armed Police Battalion cordoned off the area and had the plane surrounded on the runway.

Operational activities at the airport were also suspended, while traffic on adjacent roads was either halted or diverted.

However, after the suspect was neutralised, all airport operations resumed from 8 pm.

An airport official, seeking anonymity, said, "The gunman tried to take command of the cockpit after the plane took off from Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and forced the pilot to land at the Chottogram airport."

A witness also said that they heard a gunshot when the pilots tried to stop the armed hijacker from entering the cockpit. The hijacker then claimed to be wearing a suicide vest and demanded a direct line of communication with the prime minister and senior government officials.

Shakil Meraj, General Manager (Public Relations), Biman Bangladesh Airlines confirmed that all passengers had safely deboarded the plane after it landed in Chattogram.

"I have heard that he was calling himself Mahadi. Although, nothing is confirmed yet. He might have been psychologically imbalanced too," said Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan, Chairman, Civil Aviation.

The chairman also said, "There has been no passenger casualty. Further investigation is on-going to find out how the hijacker crossed the security barriers of the airport."

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