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Austria police evacuate Vienna-London easyJet flight after terror scare

Austrian police evacuated passengers on a London-bound easyJet plane and detained one Iraqi man after a woman next to him reported seeing suspicious messages on his phone. The man has since been cleared and released.

The easyJet Airbus continued its journey from Vienna to London after a three-hour delay, officials said on Sunday.

The incident started while the plane was preparing for takeoff, when a woman sitting next to an Iraqi man alerted the cabin crew over messages on his phone, which she thought might be

related to the so-called "Islamic State"

group.

After the passenger voiced her concerns, the crew alerted the police, who detained the man and took the woman in for questioning.

However, the authorities found "nothing suspicious" about the man, Austrian interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told the AFP news agency, adding the Iraqi national was eventually released and "allowed to continue his journey."

The police also emptied the plane and searched the aircraft, in addition to rechecking all of the baggage. They found nothing out of the ordinary.

Security tensions have increased in Europe after

suicide bombings

in Brussels killed more than 30 people earlier this week. On Thursday, EU interior and justice ministers urged the block to approve airport passenger data exchange as a means of improving security.

dj/jm (AFP, dpa)

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