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Syrian plane lands in Mafraq; pilot asks for asylum

By Hani Hazaimeh - Jun 21,2012 - Last updated at Jun 21,2012

AMMAN — A Syrian MiG-21 jetfighter landed at Mafraq airbase, Minister of Media Affairs and Communications Samih Maaytah said on Thursday, adding that the pilot asked the Jordanian government for political asylum.

According to military sources, the plane was escorted by Royal Jordanian AIrforce jetfighters soon after it entered the Jordanian airspace and was guided to the airbase where it landed safely.

"The jetfighter landed at 10:45am and the government is currently considering the pilot's request," Maaytah told The Jordan Times Thursday without elaborating further.

Meanwhile, Syrian state television named the pilot as Colonel Hassan Hamada, saying communications were lost with his plane while he was on a training mission near the border with Jordan.

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