Four gunmen who hijacked an Air France 727 on Sunday demanded proof last night that their demands had been passed on to the French government. They said they would kill one of the remaining 17 hostages they were holding if they did not talk to an official of the Iranian government, but they extended their deadline 12 hours until Tuesday morning.
Tehran radio said the hijackers had identified themselves as Iraqi Mujaheddin, opposed to the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Agence France-Presse reported. The Iraqi Mujaheddin have supported Iran in the Iranian-Iraqi war. The Associated Press quoted Tehran radio as saying a few shots were fired from the rear door of the plane, but there were no reports of any casualties.
The hijackers previously had been identified as Lebanese traveling on Tunisian passports. They commandeered the aircraft on a flight from Vienna to Paris and forced the crew to make refueling stops in Switzerland, Sicily and Syria before directing it to land in Tehran.
They have demanded that France change its policies in Chad, Iraq and Lebanon and free several Lebanese held in French jails. They threatened originally to blow up the plane and all the hostages if their demands were not met. More than 90 hostages have been released since the hijacking began.