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KEY WEST (Florida): A mystery gunman broke into the cockpit of an American airliner four minutes before it was due to touch down here and forced the pilot to take him to Havana [June 30].

The plane, a DC-3 belonging to South-East Airlines, was on a flight from Miami with 19 people aboard when the pilot sent out a brief message saying a man holding a gun at his head had ordered him to change the course for Havana.

Later the Cuban authorities said the American DC-3 would only be handed over in exchange for Cuban ships and persons held by the United States. The announcement was made through the Swiss Embassy.

The DC-3 was the 11th aircraft hijacked to Cuba in the past nine months and the second in the last fortnight.

[Meanwhile, as reported by an agency in Chicago,] an anti Viet-Nam war group says it plans street demonstrations to coincide with the Democratic Party convention to choose a Presidential candidate here in August. Rennie Davis, Field Director of the National Mobilisation Committee to end the war in Viet-Nam, gave a Press conference assessment of the numbers expected to take part.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2018