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Hijackers surrender, release hostages from Ethiopian plane


KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) -- Hijackers of an Ethiopian plane who forced it to land in Sudan Thursday surrendered to Sudanese authorities and released their remaining hostages.

Gazi Salahuddin, the Sudanese minister of information and communication, told CNN that the hijackers were taken into custody after surrendering.

"We convinced the hijackers that they can get fair treatment according to international law and not to be turned over to Ethiopia," Salahuddin said.


CNN's Catherine Bond: Unrest in Addis Ababa

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Mustafa Osman, Sudanese Foreign Minister: Hostage release talks

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Earlier, the hijackers released six women and five children. Salahuddin said all were in good condition except for one child, who was taken to a hospital because she was dehydrated.

He estimated that there were at least 45 people still on the Ethiopian military plane, including the hijackers -- who say they are students -- and crew members.

The minister said the hijackers claimed to have military explosives. He said one of their demands may be for asylum.

Sudanese television reported one of the plane's crew members escaped shortly after it landed in Khartoum.

The plane, which Sudanese officials described as a cargo plane that also carried about 50 passengers, left Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, and was headed to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa when the hijackers forced it to go to Sudan.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman said the plane had women and children on board, and estimated there were nine to 12 hijackers.

Sudanese television reported they were university students who wanted to talk with diplomats from the United States or Britain.

"Whether they are university students or whether they are military training students ... we don't know exactly," Osman said.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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