- Title: LEBANON: Libyan airliner hijack ends after 53 hours
- Date: 10th December 1981
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (VISNEWS - TEWFIC GHAZZAWI) SV Ambulance men and red cross men leaving airport terminal building SV Portholes of aircraft with hostages inside GV Ambulancemen, newsmen and police outside airport terminal building SV Hijackers on tarmac chanting, handcuffed to police SV PAN Aircraft on tarmac ZOOM IN TO hostages inside (2 shots) SV Spokesman speaking in Arabic to newsmen SVs Hostages disembarking and surrounded by newsmen (2 shots)
- Embargoed: 25th December 1981 12:00
- Location: Lebanon, Lebanon
- Country: Lebanon
- Reuters ID: LVA9PU49RF6E06IFLW6QN8PPJ2M5
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: INTRODUCTION: Libya said on Thursday (10 December) it had nothing to do with the disappearance of a Moslem sect leader, and denounced hijackers who seized a Libyan airliner to demand his release. An angrily-worded statement distributed in Beirut by the Libyan "Brotherhood Bureau" (Embassy) told the hijackers they could "go to Mars" and repeated accusations that they were agents of the United States.
SYNOPSIS: The three hijackers -- professed Lebanese members of the Moslem Shi'ite sect -- surrendered in the Lebanese capital early on Thursday after a period of intense activity and discussion. Since Monday, they had taken the Libyan Airlines Boeing 727 around the Mediterranean and Middle East, with 35 passengers aboard.
During the hijack, these men had demanded the release by Libya of their leader, Imam Moussa Sadr, an inquiry into his disappearance, or publication by the Lebanese government of whatever it had discovered about the case. The Iranian-born Imam, spiritual leader of Lebanon's 800-thousand Shi'ites, vanished after a trip to Libya in 1978. Libya has denied allegations of any involvement.
The Libyan Arab Airlines Boeing, which carried the hostages and hijackers on a 53-hour 10-thousand kilometre (6,000 mile) odyssey around the Mediterranean and the Middle East, was expected to leave for Tripoli soon after this film was taken.
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Nabib Berri of the Amal militia -- the paramilitary arm of the Shi'ites -- told newsmen when it was all over that the hijackers had treated the hostages well. And he added that the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr was a source of shame to everyone, especially the Libyans.
There has been no word from Beirut about the fate of the hijackers who surrendered after lengthy negotiations. But it's reported in Beirut newspapers that the Lebanese Military Public Prosecutor has opened an inquiry into how the airliner landed in the city on three successive evenings, despite the government's order to close the airport.
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