Pakistani official says 2 passengers threatened flight to Britain


Associated Press

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Updated Friday, May 24 at 2:34 PM

LONDON (AP) — According to a Pakistani official, two passengers on a flight from Pakistan to England today allegedly threatened to "destroy the plane" after an argument with crew.

The British military scrambled fighter jets to intercept the airliner, which was carrying more than 300 people, and it was diverted to an isolated runway at an airport outside London. The two British passengers who allegedly were speaking in Urdu when they made the threat were arrested.

A British security official says the incident does not appear to be terror-related, although police are still investigating.

The incident further rattled the U.K., just days after a soldier was killed on a London street in an apparent terror attack.

The Pakistan International Airlines flight was on its way from Lahore, Pakistan to Manchester Airport when it was diverted by the fighter jets to Stansted Airport.

A passenger told Pakistani TV that two men who had tried to move toward the cockpit during the flight were handcuffed and arrested after the plane landed.

%@AP Links

190-v-32-(Charles de Ledesma, correspondent)--An incident on a Britain-bound Pakistan plane has led to some arrests, amid heightening tension over terrorism. Correspondent Charles de Ledesma reports. (replaces cut 181 with updated information) (24 May 2013)

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181-v-30-(Charles de Ledesma, correspondent)--Two men are being quesioned by police following an incident on a plane from Pakistan. Correspondent Charles de Ledesma reports. ((watch for dating)) (24 May 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: Pakistan International Airlines logo, graphic element on white (24 May 2013)

APPHOTO LON117: Undated photo issued by the British Ministry of Defence of an RAF Typhoon Aircraft of the type that has escorted a passenger plane into Stansted Airport in southern England following an incident on board Friday May 24, 2013. British media reported the flight was a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane flying to Manchester, England. (AP Photo/ MOD via PA) (24 May 2013)

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APPHOTO LON820: Passengers disembark from Pakistan International Airlines flight PK709 bound for Manchester from Lahore, Pakistan, after it was diverted to Stansted Airport, north of London, England, Friday May 24, 2013. The passenger plane was diverted following an incident on board, and two men were arrested on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft after an RAF Typhoon jet was scrambled to escort the passenger plane traveling from Pakistan to the UK, police said. (AP Photo / Chris Radburn, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES (24 May 2013)

<<APPHOTO LON820 (05/24/13)>>