Missing Malaysia Airline MH370
An air search for debris of missing jet MH370       Reuters

A Russian newspaper has claimed that flight MH370 was hijacked and landed in Afghanistan where passengers were being held hostage.

The bizarre theory has been attributed to an alleged source within the country's FSB secret service, according to newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The source stated: "Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines missing on March 8 with 239 passengers was hijacked.

"Pilots are not guilty; the plane was hijacked by unknown terrorists.

"We know that the name of the terrorist who gave instructions to pilots is 'Hitch'.

"The plane is in Afghanistan not far from Kandahar near the border with Pakistan."

According to the Daily Star, Moskovsky Komsomolets, claims all the passengers are alive and have been divided into seven groups and are living in mud huts with almost no food.

It also alleges 20 Asian 'specialists' on board the flight have been smuggled into a bunker in Pakistan and that terrorists were possibly seeking to negiotiate with America or China.

The Russian newspaper said one of its correspondents was tipped off anonymously about the allegations.

The Independent newspaper on March 16 - a week after the plane went missing - also explored rumours that the plane flew into an "area controlled by Taliban" before Malaysian officials concluded that the plane was deliberately flown off course towards the Indian Ocean.

The paper wrote: "The missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370 may have been deliberately flown under the radar to Taliban-controlled bases on the border of Afghanistan, it has emerged, as authorities said that the final message sent from the cockpit came after one of the jet's communications systems had already been switched off."

The Islamic militant group, Pakistan Taliban, however, previously denied its involvement in hijacking the plane.

The latest allegations comes as the search for the missing plane continues in the southern Indian Ocean.

Crews now plan to deploy the Bluefin-21 submarine within days to search for wreckage amid concerns the battery life of the black box locator has expired. The submarine, which can only travel at about five miles per hour and cannot send data while submerged, is expected to take up to two months to scan the underwater zone.

Angus Houston, the search coordinator, said there had been no 'major breakthrough' and a signal heard recently was not from the plane's black box.

But Tony Abbott, Australia's prime minister said he was 'very confident' the previous four set of signals detected were from the black box.

He said: "We have very much narrowed down the search area. We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres. But confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost four-and-a-half kilometres (14,800 feet), beneath the sea."