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Sun 9 Mar 2008 11:59 AM

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Bomb hoax causes chaos at Kuwait airport

Hoax forces evacuation of two planes landing at Kuwait International Airport.

A hoax phone call warning of a bomb forced the evacuation of two planes after they landed at Kuwait International Airport, state news agency Kuna reported late on Saturday.

A Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) flight coming from Jeddah and a Kuwait Airways flight coming from Damascus were evacuated on the runway and both taken away for inspection, said airport operations manager Issam Al-Zamel, reported newswire AFP.

"An anonymous person called by telephone the Civil Aviation Directorate General on Saturday claiming that a bag at Kuwait International Airport included a bomb," Kuna said.

"Security personnel searched all the bags and belongings of the passengers, but found no suspicious ordnance."

Kuwait's Civil Aviation Authority, which manages the airport, immediately notified the relevant security authorities about the bomb threat made at 12.00 pm (0900 GMT), Al-Zamel told Kuna.

A security official at the airport told AFP the caller had also told the airport authority that a bomb was hidden in suitcase on a plane arriving at 2.00 pm (1100 GMT).

The first plane had arrived at 13.45 pm (1045 GMT) while the second landed at 2.15 (1115 GMT), he said.

Al-Zamel said Kuwaiti authorities were trying to locate the caller who made the hoax call.

The incident marks the fourth hoax bomb call to be reported in Kuwait in the past three weeks.

Two separate hoax bomb calls nearly a week ago caused the evacuation of the American University of Kuwait and shopping centre Marina Mall, reported Kuwait daily Arab Times on March 2.

A hoax bomb call also caused the evacuation of a hotel in the Messila area of Kuwait, Arab Times reported on February 23.

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