Chinese state media has reported that two alleged ‘plane hijackers’ have died in custody in Xinjiang, from the BBC:
The Global Times said the men, from the Uighur minority group, died in hospital of injuries sustained trying to break into the plane’s cockpit.
Six people were detained after the incident on Friday, in which several people were injured.
The Global Times, citing unnamed officials, said the men had died “from injuries received in a fight with passengers and crew”.
The Tianjin Airlines plane had just taken off from Hotan and was bound for Urumqi when the incident occurred.
Furthermore, authorities are claiming that the two men were staging a terrorist attack, the Irish Times adds:
TWO MEN who allegedly tried to hijack a plane in far west China by battering the cockpit door with a crutch and trying to set off what were suspected to be explosives have died from injuries sustained in a fight with passengers and crew.
An overseas rights group said the incident was not a hijacking attempt but a fight over a disputed seat, but Chinese authorities insisted it was a terror attack.
“It is a serious and violent terrorist attack by means of hijacking an airplane,” ran a report on the official website for the Xinjiang region, Tianshan.
The Global Times newspaper reported that six members of the Uighur ethnic group used crutches and “held items suspected to be explosives” to break into the cockpit 10 minutes after the Tianjin Airlines flight carrying 92 passengers and nine crew members took off from Hotan to the Xinjiang capital Urumqi.
According to the Shanghai Daily, the passengers and crew would receive a monetary reward for their bravery aboard the flight:
Six police officers, five of them from the Uygur ethnic minority, were on Tianjin Airlines’ flight GS7554,...
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