A British police with the freed hostages from the Air Tanzania at Stanstead Airport. - Gulf News Archives

Four men who used a pistol and an arsenal of wooden replica weapons to hijack an Air Tanzania jet from Africa to Europe released their hostages and surrendered after being allowed to speak with an exiled Tanzania politician. The 50-hour, 10,000km forced journey ended with the hijackers using two of their children, a boy and girl aged about 10, to ferry their weapons from the plane to police. Then the hijackers and a group of their relatives, some waving white flags, left the plane and walked in a cluster across the runway to waiting officers in Stansted, England. All the 91 hostages have been released. They took over the white, blue and yellow Boeing 737 on February 26, in a bid to force the resignation of Tanzania’s President Julius Nyerere. They surrendered after being allowed to speak with exiled Oscar Kambona, a former Tanzanian minister who fled into exile in 1967 after opposing Nyerere’s socialist policies.

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