November 27, 2010 / 2:17 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Iran arrests hijacker on Syria-bound plane

(Adds more detail, change source)

TEHRAN, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A man linked to “anti-revolutionary” groups failed on Saturday in his attempt to hijack an Iran Air passenger plane en route to Syria and was arrested by security forces on board, news agencies said.

“A man, linked to anti-revolutionary groups, tried to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation on board the flight ... to hijack the plane,” Abbas Mosayebi from Iran Air, the national carrier, told the ISNA student news agency.

Earlier, an official from Iran Air, told the semi-official Fars news agency that the man suffered from a “mental problem”.

The Airbus plane, which had taken off from Tehran, later landed safely in Damascus, ISNA said, adding that “the suspect was arrested by the security forces on board.”

“The plane later landed safely in (the Syrian capital) Damascus ... The plane is flying back to Tehran,” it reported. It said no explosives were found on board.

The semi-official Mehr news agency said the hijacker wanted to hijack the aircraft to another country.

“The case is being investigated by the Intelligence Ministry and the Revolutionary Guards,” Mosayebi said. There were no further details immediately available.

Writing by Ramin Mostafavi and Mitra Amiri

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