March 16, 2001
arrived without any documentation to stay. --Stephen V Cole
Three Chechens hijacked a Russian airliner in Istanbul yesterday. The airliner landed in Saudi Arabia, where the pilots barricaded themselves in the cockpit while the Saudis tried to negotiate with the hijackers (who demanded that Russia withdraw from Chechnya and wanted the aircraft flown to Afghanistan.) Negotiations broke down, Russia gave permission for an attack and Saudi commandoes stormed the aircraft. One hijacker, a passenger and one steward (by a hijacker armed with a knife) were killed. Hijacking Russia aircraft has always been a risky business, as the Russian crews tend to fight back. In this hijacking, the aircraft almost crashed as the struggle in the cockpit caused the aircraft to go into a dive.