MOSCOW — Six people--two would-be hijackers, two passengers and two policemen--were killed in gun battles during an abortive attempt to commandeer a Soviet airliner in the provincial city of Ufa last Saturday, the Soviet news agency Tass said Monday.
It was one of the rare episodes of hijacking reported in recent years in the Soviet Union, where pilots carry sidearms and heavy security measures are taken routinely at airports.
Tass said the hijackers commandeered a taxi, demanding to be taken to the airport. The two policemen were killed while pursuing the taxi, Tass said.
"In seizing the plane, the criminals opened fire and killed two passengers," Tass said. "The criminals were later found to be drug addicts. They were killed as a result of resolute measures taken by state security and militia (police) personnel, who displayed great personal valor and high professional standards during the operation."
Tass identified the two men who attempted the hijacking as N. R. Mantsev and S. V. Yagmurzhi, but gave no ages, occupations or home cities. Nor was any reason given for the hijack attempt.
Ufa, a city about 720 miles east of Moscow in the Volga River region, is a center of the petrochemical industry. The plane, a TU-134 carrying 76 passengers and crew members, was on a stopover between Kiev and the western Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk.
There was no indication in the sparse Tass account of whether the two were under the influence of drugs at the time of the attempted hijacking.
In the last previous public report of a hijacked plane here, an Aeroflot plane was forced to land in China in December, 1985. The hijacker was tried in a Chinese court and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Nearly three years ago, a group of seven Georgians seized an Aeroflot plane bound from Tbilisi to Leningrad and ordered the pilot to fly to Turkey. But the pilot, using a ruse, landed the plane at Tbilisi, and policemen stormed the aircraft, killing three hijackers and three members of the crew. The other four hijackers were sentenced to death.