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Africa

Kenyan experts examine suspected bomb after Air France flight's emergency landing

media Passengers from the Air France flight are escorted from Moi International Airport in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa Reuters/Joseph Okanga

Air France declared that a bomb alert on one of its planes Sunday was a false alarm after Kenyan experts examined a suspected package found on board a flight that made an emergency landing in Mombasa. Flight AF 463 was carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members.

The flight left the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius at 9.00pm local time headed for Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, where it should have arrived at 5.50am, but made an unscheduled landing at the southern port city's Moi International Airport at 12.37am.

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"It requested an emergency landing after a device suspected to be a bomb was discovered in the lavatory, an emergency was prepared and it landed safely and all passengers evacuated," police spokesperson Charles Owino told the media.

Bomb experts from the Kenyan navy and police force were called in and took the device away to be dismantled and establish whether it contained explosives.

Air France said that it was in contact with the Kenyan authorities as the investigation continued, explaining that the passengers were given emergency accommodation and would be put on an alternative flight later Sunday.

While the airline "regrets the inconvenience and the delay that was caused to its customers," its "priority is to ensure the safety of its passengers," a spokesperson said.

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