DHAKA: A man who was killed while trying to hijack a commercial flight in Bangladesh was a 24-year-old passenger from a village near the capital who may not have been armed, officials said on Monday, in a reversal of previous allegations that he was carrying a pistol.
“There was no signal that he had something” when he went through airport security before Sunday’s flight, Bangladesh civil aviation minister Mahbub Ali said at a news conference in Dhaka.
A police chief in Narayanganj outside Dhaka, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, identified the suspect as Mahmud Polash Ahmad.
Moniruzzaman said Ahmad’s parents confirmed his identity, and that residents of the village where he lived said he had a “bad reputation.”
The minister’s statement contradicts what Maj. Gen. Motiur Rahman told reporters on Sunday.
According to ATN TV news, Rahman said commandos fired at the suspect after he shot at them when they asked him to surrender, and that he was armed with a pistol.
“We don’t know if there was any exchange of gunfire,” Mohibul Haque, secretary of the civil aviation ministry, told reporters.
The plane operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines made an emergency landing in Chittagong after the attempted hijacking, which occurred shortly after takeoff from Dhaka. The plane was headed to Dubai via Chittagong.
The suspect asked to speak to the prime minister before dying from gunshots fired by the commandos, according to officials.