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Passengers subdue armed hijacker

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• NEW: Air Mauritania flight landed safely in Canary Islands
• Canaries official: Plane had 71 passengers and 8 crew
• Hijacker arrested; his identity not yet released
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LAS PALMAS, Spain (CNN) -- A man armed with two pistols hijacked an Air Mauritania flight Thursday but was subdued by two passengers, a Spanish official said.

The plane landed safely in the Canary Islands and no one was hurt, the official said.

The senior Spanish government source said a man had been trying to commandeer the Boeing 737 to Paris. He was arrested by the civil guard after the jet landed at Gando Airport, the source told CNN.

Jose Segura, the central government's chief representative in the Canaries, told Ser, a Spanish radio station, that the plane was carrying 71 passengers and eight crew members.

Reports differed on the hijacker's nationality, with one senior Spanish government source saying he is Moroccan and Segura describing him as Mauritanian.

Abass Bass, a representative of the Mauritanian Embassy in Washington, described the incident as a "tentative hijacking."

"The information we had from Mauritania is that the passengers fought back and they took the hijacker and now everything is OK," Bass told CNN.

Bass said the flight had been scheduled to be an interior one, from the capital city of Nouakchott to Nouadhibou, in northern Mauritania, near Morocco.

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An Air Mauritania flight landed in the Canary Islands after it was hijacked Thursday by a man who was subdued by passengers.



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