Air France vows probe after flight diverted to Kenya on bomb scare

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.

Last update: Sun, 20/12/2015 - 12:52
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