Plane Hijaking To Protest Pope?
ATHENS (Reuters) - A Turkish passenger plane flying from the Albanian capital Tirana to Istanbul was hijacked over Greece and later landed in Italy, Greek and Italian officials said on Tuesday.
"The plane sent the (coded hijack) signal twice while in Greek air space. Four Greek fighter jets took off and accompanied the plane as it left Greek air space toward the Italian city of Brindisi," a Greek defense ministry official told Reuters.
The official said the plane, carrying 107 passengers and a crew of six, entered Greek air space at 17:58 local (14:58 GMT) and was soon escorted out by the Greek fighter jets.
"It is now circling Brindisi," the official said. The Italian air force later said it had intercepted the Turkish flight which then landed at Brindisi airport in Italy.
Turkey's NTV said two Turks had hijacked the plane and were said to be ready to surrender. Turkish television also quoted police sources as saying the plane was hijacked in protest at Pope Benedict's pending visit to Turkey.