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Co-pilot hijacks plane to Geneva, seeks asylum

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 17, 2014 at 6:51 a.m.

police-stand-around-the-aircraft-after-passengers-were-evacuated-from-a-hijacked-ethiopian-airlines-plane-on-the-airport-in-geneva-on-monday-feb-17-2014-a-hijacked-aircraft-traveling-from-addis-abeda-ethiopia-to-rome-italy-has-landed-at-genevas-international-airport-early-monday-morning-swiss-authorities-have-arrested-the-hijacker

Police stand around the aircraft after passengers were evacuated from a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Plane on the airport in Geneva on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. A hijacked aircraft traveling from Addis Abeda, Ethiopia, to Rome, Italy, has landed at Geneva's international airport early Monday morning. Swiss authorities have arrested the hijacker.

GENEVA — An Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot locked his fellow pilot out of the cockpit, hijacked a Rome-bound plane and landed Monday in Geneva, all in an attempt to seek asylum in Switzerland, officials said.

The Boeing 767-300 plane with 202 passengers and crew had taken off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and landed in the Swiss city about midnight Central time. Officials said no one on the flight was injured and the hijacker was taken into custody after surrendering to police.

It was not immediately clear why the co-pilot, whose name wasn't released, wanted asylum. However, Ethiopian Airlines is owned by Ethiopia's government, which has faced persistent criticism over its rights record and alleged intolerance for political dissent.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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