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'Mentally ill' man holds crew members hostage on Jamaica plane


MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - An armed man believed to be mentally ill took six crew members hostage on a plane in Jamaica on Monday, and has demanded to be flown to Cuba.

CanJet Airlines said the man has released the 160 passengers he was holding hostage on the plane at Sangster Airport in the Montego Bay resort. The plane was bound for Canada, with a stop-over in Cuba.

Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz told CNN that the gunman was a 20-year-old Jamaican national, and described him as "a mentally challenged youngster."

The charter jet with 174 passengers and eight crewmembers was hijacked at around 10:00 p.m. local time on Sunday (03:00 GMT Monday).

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding is at the airport to assist in negotiations with the hijacker, along with the minister of national security and the hijacker's father.

Radio Jamaica said the hijacker had checked in for the flight to Canada, forced his way through security with a firearm, and went on board the plane brandishing the weapon. He reportedly robbed several passengers, before letting them go.

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