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Coup: How Nigerian pilgrims were trapped in Niger

After being trapped for about five hours, a Max Air aircraft conveying some Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia has departed Niamey, Niger Republic, it was…

After being trapped for about five hours, a Max Air aircraft conveying some Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia has departed Niamey, Niger Republic, it was learnt.

The aircraft became trapped after dropping off the last batch of pilgrims from the country.

Tension rose in the West African country on Wednesday after soldiers announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum from office.

The Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) had sent a team led by Benin Republic President, Patrice Talon to the country.

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Daily Trust learnt that the Nigerian-bound flight operated by Max Air got trapped in the country after the soldiers shut down the airspace.

Earlier in the day, Max Air confirmed the situation, saying it was reaching out to the local authorities to allow the aircraft leave the country.

“Max Air Limited regrets to announce that one of our aircraft has been temporarily trapped in Niamey, Niger, after successfully dropping off the last group of Niger pilgrims.”

“The situation is a result of ongoing unrest in the country. Our management team is in constant communication with local authorities and is working diligently to resolve the matter promptly.

“We extend our gratitude for the patience and understanding of our passengers and their families during this time. Updates will be provided regularly as the situation progresses.

“Max Air Limited prioritizes safety above all else and remains committed to the well-being of our passengers and crew.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the aircraft had returned to Jeddah after the incident.

“The problem has been resolved and the aircraft was almost in Jeddah as I am talking to you,” a senior official of the airline said.

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