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Home News Spanish airports on alert after British terrorist scare

Spanish airports on alert after British terrorist scare

Published on 10/08/2006

10 August 2006

MADRID – Numerous flights between Britain and Spain were on Thursday cancelled or seriously disrupted as a result of the terrorist plot discovered in the UK.

The news that the British police had disrupted a plan to cause mass murder by planting liquid explosives on planes led to the closure of Heathrow airport and delays in airports throughout the world as security was tightened.

At a press conference at Santiago de Compostela airport, Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he had been informed by Tony Blair’s government of the plot.

He said the information from Blair suggested the British police had stopped “a serious operation”, although he said it was premature to comment further on the matter.

He said Spanish airports continually used measures designed for “maximum anti-terrorist prevention”, but he had ordered interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba to “further tighten and reinforce controls in airports in Spain”.

Speaking to congress, Perez Rubalcaba said airport security had been reinforced and in particular on flights headed to London.

He added: “We have received information from the English police. We are in contact with them and from the information which we have, we can conclude there is no special danger for our country”.

Airport management company Aena recommended passengers heading to Britain contact their airlines to check the situation with their flights. Many have been cancelled for security reasons or as congestion builds up at airports.

Sources at AENA told the news agency EFE that by 2pm, 56.9 percent of flights between Spain and Britain had run, a total of 181 out of 318 flights.

A total of 56 flights were due to fly from Spain to Heathrow which was due to remain closed until 8pm for security reasons.

British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair have cancelled all their flights between Spain and Britain on Thursday.

Some passengers at Spanish airports told reporters they had decided not to fly to Britain until they see how the situation develops.

On Thursday afternoon, British police had arrested at least 21 suspects, believed to be British Muslims, and said their investigations and house searches were continuing.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news