World

US to ban laptops, tablets on flights from 10 Middle East airports

WASHINGTON:  The United States warned yesterday that extremists plan to target passenger jets with bombs hidden in electronic devices, and banned carrying them onto flights from 10 Middle East airports.

Senior US officials said that nine airlines from eight countries had been given 96 hours to ban devices bigger than a cellphone or smartphone from the cabin.

Laptops, tablets and portable game consoles are affected by the ban - which applies to direct flights to the US - but they may still be kept in checked baggage.

Passengers on approximately 50 flights per day from some of the busiest hubs in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa will be obliged to follow the new ruling.

An official said that concerns had been "heightened by several successful events and attacks on passenger lanes and airports over the last years".

The ban will hit Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways. - AFP

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