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Passenger 'threatens to blow up Swiss plane'

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The plane was reportedly operated by Helvetic Airways, though the carrier declined to either admit or deny involvement. Photo: Helevtic Airways
21:50 CEST+02:00
A passenger threatened to blow up a plane carrying 150 people from Zurich to Pristina on Sunday, according to a report from Kosovo cited by the Swiss press.

The passenger, described as a man about 35 years old, brandished a cigarette lighter and a bottle filled with liquid and shouted threats, Italian-language Ticino newspaper 20 Minuti said on Monday.

The tabloid based its information on a report from Kosovar newspaper Koha Dittore. although this was contradicted by another account of what happened.

Albanian newspaper Gazeta Express said in an online report that the plane was operated by Swiss carrier Helvetic Airways, although the company declined to comment on the case when initially contacted.

The Kosovar newspaper quoted the man as saying “Allah is great” before threatening to blow up the plane, 20 Minuti said.

“We all go before God, do you want to go to heaven or hell,” the man is alleged to have said as the aircraft was travelling at an altitude of 10,000 metres.

“God is first, then comes Mohammed.”

the Kosovar newspaper said another passenger, experienced in martial arts, neutralized the would-be bomber, to the relief of the terrified people on board.

However, the Gazeta Express quoted a Kosovar police spokesman, Baki Kelani, who downplayed the incident.

Kelani said a difference arose between the passenger and a member of the plane’s crew but he denied there was any threat of an explosion.

“We have contacted the family of the passenger in question,” the policeman is quoted as saying.

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“According to the information we have received , he was suffering from psychological problems.”

The Kosovar police representative said at no time were passengers put at risk and the man implicated did not mention the word “Allah”.

He was arrested for questioning by police after the plane arrived in Pristina.
 

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