French fighter jet force-lands passenger plane pre-sumably hijacked in Italy



A French Mirage 2000 fighter jet has intercepted a plane believed to have been hijacked in Italy, French radio station Europe 1 reported on Wednesday.

The jet took off from Orange military base at about 10:40 a.m. Paris time (08:40 GMT). During flight, the pilots had to force-land a passenger plane on the runway of the Aix-les-Milles airfield, as it had neither a flight plan nor radio communications and was flying at low altitude, according to the report.

The pilot of the aircraft offered no resistance. He did not have any identification documents. The man said that he was born on September 19, 1988 in Slovakia.

In addition, the man was wearing only socks, no shoes, according to the report.

The pilot is suspected of having hijacked the plane in Italy, then entering French airspace and flying over several no-fly zones. This led to the closure of the airspace over Nice for about half an hour, the radio station said.

After the passenger plane landed, French air force personnel handed the pilot over to the police. The man was taken into custody.

According to Europe 1, in 2021, 170 “contin-gencies” required the intervention of fighters or heli-copters of the French air force.—AFP


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