Militia Chief: Iran Hijackers Wanted to Undermine OIC Summit
The would-be hijackers of an Iranian domestic flight wanted to undermine Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) efforts to support the Palestinians, a military commander said Thursday.
General Mohammad Hejazi, head of the Islamic Basiji militia, said they wanted to "weaken the success of the meeting of OIC heads of state (last week) during which Palestine was defended in an unprecedented way."
Hejazi, quoted by the state IRNA news agency, was speaking after meeting with those hospitalized in Monday's attack on an internal flight of tiny carrier Arya Tour from the southwestern city of Ahvaz.
"Even though the hijackers have claimed that the aim of the hijacking was to leave the country, this issue requires further looking into," he said.
"What we expect is that the hijackers are dealt with firmly to serve as a lesson for others," he said.
The hijack attempt was broken up by security personnel on board and the plane finally landed safely at the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, its intended destination.
IRNA earlier Thursday cited Arya Tour's security department saying that the hijackers, who it said assaulted security officers with knives and arms, wanted to go to Europe via an unnamed Gulf state.
It said that all the attackers had criminal backgrounds and had been forbidden to leave the country, adding that seven people had been injured.
But Hejazi said Tuesday that no-one was killed and three wounded, while three hijackers were arrested.
The OIC, whose summit in Qatar marked the end of Iran's rotating presidency of the 56-nation group, "invited" members to break ties with Israel and expressed "total confidence" in the Palestinian leadership.
Iran does not recognize the state of Israel and has welcomed the Palestinian uprising which has seen more than 230 people killed, most of them Palestinians, in seven weeks of violence – TEHRAN (AFP)
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