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Tue 2 Nov 2010 10:36 AM

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Germany bans all flights from Yemen

European power becomes first nation to ban passenger and freight services

Germany bans all flights from Yemen
Tegel Airport, Berlin, Germany

Yemen has expressed its surprise at Germany’s decision to ban all flights from the Arab country, following the discovery of parcel bombs posted from the Arab state on planes bound for the US last weekend.

On Monday, the European nation became the first to reject all flights from Yemen. Other countries, such as the UK and the US, have only banned freighter flights from the country.

Parcels addressed to a Jewish synagogue in Chicago were seized in Britain and Dubai over the weekend. Each package contained explosive devices and were found in UPS and FedEx facilities respectively.

The bomb found in Britain had been re-routed via the German city of Cologne.

Yemen claimed that the German move hampered the country’s fight against extremists. The bombs have been linked to Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

“Such a decision and other hasty reactions due to the two suspected parcels harm Yemen’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and do only serve al-Qaeda terrorists who have been seeking to achieve such results to damage Yemen’s interests and its relationships with friends and regional and international partners,” a Yemeni government source told the state Saba news agency.

The statement indicated that Germany’s move “can be explained only by being collective punishment to Yemen and its people who still deny terrorism and support the tireless efforts of their government in its war on terror".

AFP reported that the German government was also considering banning freight from other countries amid a major security review.

The UK has banned cargo stemming from Yemen and also from Somalia.

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