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Suspected Bangladesh plane hijacker killed in standoff

By Darryl Coote
Suspected Bangladesh plane hijacker killed in standoff
Police forces surround the hijacked Dubai-bound Bangladesh Biman Boeing 737-800 plane on the tarmac after an emergency landing at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo by EPA-EFE

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A man suspected of attempting to hijack a Dubai-bound plane has been killed following an eight-minute standoff with law enforcement in Bangladesh.

The passenger flight bound for Dubai from Bangladesh's capital Dhaka made an emergency stop in the southeastern port city of Chattogram about 40 minutes after takeoff Sunday evening as a man wielding a gun allegedly attempted to enter the plane's cockpit, The Daily Star reported.

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The Biman Airlines' Boeing 737-800, with 143 passengers and seven crew members onboard, was safely evacuated upon landing at Shah Amanat International Airport.

Army, navy and SWAT officials then surrounded the plane.

The gun-wielding man was killed during the military operation after he became aggressive, Maj. Gen. SM Matiur Rahman of the 24th Infantry Division said during a media conference following the operation, Bangla News 24 cited.

"The commandos first asked him to surrender but he was aggressive. As he refused to give himself up and intended to attack, the commandos went for action and he got injured in the ensuing shootout," he said.

He was pronounced dead before reaching the hospital

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The only demand he had made was to speak to his wife and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Matiur said, adding that it is unclear what he had wanted to say.

"There was no scope to talk to him any further as we sought to end the incident within the shortest possible time," he said.

The airport was closed during the operation but was reopened by 8 p.m. local time.

How the suspect was able to bring a gun onboard the plane despite having been screened twice is being investigated, Air Vice-Marshal M Naim Hassan told reporters in Dhaka, about 156 miles southeast of the airport.

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