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Man held as Qatar Airways plane forced to land in UK


A man is escorted off a Qatar Airways aircraft by police at Manchester airport in Manchester, northern England August 5, 2014. A British fighter jet escorted a passenger plane into Manchester airport on Tuesday after the pilot reported that a suspect device was possibly on board, police said. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates

London: British police on Tuesday arrested a man suspected of making a hoax bomb threat that forced a Qatar Airways plane to make an emergency landing under military jet escort.

Footage of the incident appeared to show an Royal Air Force Typhoon jet escorting the Airbus A330 to Manchester Airport in northwest England.

"A man who was onboard the plane... has been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat," Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said on its official Twitter page.

Passengers reported that the suspect had been hauled off the plane by armed police, less than an hour after it had landed.

Chief Superintendent John O'Hare earlier said that the jet escort had been scrambled because of the pilot of the passenger plane sent an alert  about a possible device on board.

A witness told Sky News television that the airport was "on lock-down" and that no planes were landing or taking off, but GMP later tweeted that it was "business as usual" and that the matter was being dealt with as an isolated incident.

The incident caused the diversion of the plane carrying the Manchester United football team back from its pre-season tour of the United States, local paper the Manchester Evening News reported.

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