Minsk airport suspends boarding of Lufthansa flight

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  • Plane emptied and searched after security alert
  • Airport says flight LH1487 preparing again for take-off
  • Suspended boarding follows forced landing of Ryanair flight

MOSCOW, May 24 (Reuters) - Minsk airport in Belarus on Monday suspended boarding of a Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) flight to Frankfurt and searched the plane, saying it had received a warning about a possible terrorist act that had not been confirmed.

Belarusian authorities on Sunday scrambled a fighter jet and flagged what turned out to be a false bomb alert to force a Ryanair plane to land and then detained a dissident journalist who was on board, provoking condemnation from European countries, the United States and NATO. read more

Lufthansa said in a written statement on Monday that Minsk authorities, prompted by a security alert, had unloaded luggage and freight from flight LH1487 and carried out renewed security checks on 56 people on board, including five crew members.

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Minsk airport said measures for the screening of passengers, baggage and aircraft had been completed and that the aircraft was preparing again for departure. The airport was operating normally, it said.

“The message about the terrorist attack, which was received earlier by e-mail of the airport, was not confirmed,” the airport said.

(This story officially corrects after Lufthansa said 56 people were on board, not 51, in paragraph 3

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Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Writing by Tom Balmforth Editing by David Goodman

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