Britain scrambles fighter jets over incident onboard plane from Pakistan | News | DW | 24.05.2013
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Britain scrambles fighter jets over incident onboard plane from Pakistan

British police have arrested two men on suspicion of endangering an aircraft after fighter jets were scrambled to deal with an incident onboard a plane from Pakistan. Early reports suggest it was not a terrorist attack.

The Defense Ministry said the two men were arrested on Friday after a Pakistan International Airlines flight was diverted from its intended destination at Manchester airport.

Typhoon jets escorted flight PK709 to Stansted airport in Essex, near London after an incident was reported onboard.

The arrested men, aged 30 and 41, stand accused of "endangerment of an aircraft," police in Essex said in a statement. They have been taken to a police station for interview.

There has been no official confirmation regarding what prompted the flight's diversion, although a British security official, speaking on a condition of anonymity, said the incident did not appear to be terror-related.

The plane, which had been travelling from the Pakistani city of Lahore to Manchester airport, was believed to have been carrying 297 passengers. According to a spokesman for Stansted Airport all passengers have now safely disembarked and the plane was being held in an isolated area.

Britain has been on high alert since the murder of a solider in London on Wednesday in what police are treating as a terrorist incident.

ccp/kms (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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