Belgium bans Yemen mail, freight after bomb finds

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Belgium blocked all mail and freight from Yemen on Tuesday after last Thursday's discovery of lethal explosives hidden in air cargo parcels in Britain and Dubai.

Belgian transport secretary Etienne Schouppe's office said the "preventive" ban would run at least until Monday, November 8.

The kingdom, which chairs the European Union until the end of the year, also wants EU ministers meeting in Brussels next week to debate coordinated action, with preparatory talks set on Friday.

US agents first found suspicious packages from Yemen back in September and linked them "several weeks ago" to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a US official told AFP late on Monday.

The United States and Canada have blocked all freight from Yemen.

Britain announced Monday it was suspending all unaccompanied air cargo from war-torn Somalia, extending an earlier ban on freight from Yemen.

Germany went further, banning all flights from Yemen after the discovery of the bomb at East Midlands airport in Britain, which passed through the German city of Cologne.

The Netherlands has also taken action.

© 2010 AFP

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