kenya air france.jpg
Photograph: EPA/STR

An Air France jet on its way from Mauritius to Paris was diverted to Kenya Sunday after a bomb scare about a suspicious object on board.

Air France flight AF463 landed at Mombasa airport, which was briefly shut down due to the scare, disrupting other flights. The plane was carrying 459 passengers and a crew of 14.

"The object, believed to be an explosive device, has been successfully retrieved from the aircraft," according to a Twitter feed from Kenya Airports.

Joseph Boinnett, head of Kenya's police, confirmed that a suspected explosive had been removed and was being studied by explosives experts.

A passenger discovered the suspicious item in a lavatory and then alerted the crew, according to Kenyan police.

Local media also reported that police were investigating two suspects linked to the incident, but there was no confirmation of any arrests.

Air France confirmed to dpa that the plane landed in Kenya at 12:36 am (2236 GMT Saturday), with passengers then evacuated from the plane by slides and then helped to accommodations by ground staff. The airline plans to send them back on their way to Paris later Sunday.

"Air France is working in close cooperation with the authorities, which are investigating to identify the source of the threat and its exact nature," said Air France in a statement.

The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, which lies about 1,000 kilometres east of Madagascar, is a favourite vacation destination for French nationals because a large part of the island's population can speak French.

France has been on high alert for terror threats after deadly attacks in January and November, with Islamic State claiming a role in both. France has been in the group's sights because it has cooperated with attacks upon Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.

Related stories

Latest news

Residents in northern Greece oppose refugee children attending school

There were renewed clashes between angry residents and police in the northern Greek town of Oreokastro on Monday, where some locals have for months opposed children from a nearby refugee centre being taught at the local school.

Germany, France slam Russia's acceptance of Ukrainian rebel passports

EU member states Germany and France, which have been seeking to mitigate the conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, on Monday broadly condemned Russia's recognition of rebel-issued passports.

Stier says Croatia strongly supports Kosovo, calls for enhancing economic cooperation

The Croatian minister announced a closer economic cooperation with Kosovo.

Afghanistan demands Pakistan hand over militants, shut training camps

The Afghan government has demanded that Pakistan hand over terrorists operating on its soil and close tens of terrorist training camps, the Foreign Ministry in Kabul said Monday.

Four Russian servicemen in Syria killed in vehicle bombing

Four Russian servicemen were killed and two others injured when a remote-controlled bomb exploded under their vehicle in Syria's western Homs region, Russian state media reported Monday, citing the Defence Ministry.

Iraqi forces advance in Mosul as US Defence Secretary visits Baghdad

Iraqi forces pressed on with their offensive to dislodge the extremist Islamic State militia from their stronghold in northern Iraq, as US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis landed in Baghdad on an unannounced official visit.

Denmark registers sharp drop in asylum bids in 2016

Denmark saw asylum bids in 2016 drop by two-thirds compared to the previous year, the Scandinavian country's statistics agency said Monday.

Zagreb businessman goes on retrial for causing accident at sea

Zagreb businessman Tomislav Horvatincic (70) on Monday went on retrial for causing an accident at sea five and a half years ago in which an Italian couple were killed.

French, Croatian students working together on Dalmatian islands project

A HRK 16 million Horizon 2020 agriculture project on which French and Croatian students will work together was launched at the Split School of Economics on Monday.

Croatian National Tourist Board director requests to be relieved of duty

The director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), Ratomir Ivicic, on Monday requested to be relieved of his duties and a call for applications for this post will be published in a month.

Petrokemija posts HRK 87.3m loss in 2016

The Petrokemija artificial fertiliser manufacturer made HRK 1.93 billion in revenues in 2016, expenditures were HRK 2.02 billion and the loss was HRK 87.3 million, down 5.6% on the year, the Kutina-based plant said on Monday.

Wigemark says election legislation amendments of utmost importance for Bosnia

Wigemark said that amending the election legislation and continuing the process for joining the EU were the most important political processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.