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China flight diverted after explosive claim by American

China

flight diverted after american tells of bomb

A 58-year-old American man forced a China Airlines jet to divert a flight to Shanghai on Saturday morning after he told a flight attendant that he had a bomb in his luggage, news agencies reported. The flight from Taipei, Taiwan, to Shanghai's Pudong International Airport was diverted to Hangzhou, a city about 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, where it landed without incident. A search of the plane and the 297 passengers' luggage turned up no explosives. The American, identified only by his surname Lin, was arrested as he left the aircraft. He later told authorities that he was joking, according to a report by Hanzhou cable television station TVBS. A China Airlines spokesman, Bruce Chen, said the man had acted "very calmly" when he told the crew that he had a bomb. The man did not appear to have been drinking, Chen said.

Somalia

At least 30 killed in mosque bombing

Two bombs exploded inside a small mosque in Mogadishu's main market Saturday, killing at least 30 people in the first Iraq-style bombing inside a house of worship in Somalia, officials said. The blasts in the Bakara market went off while people were sitting inside the Abdala Shideye mosque waiting for noon prayers. Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said at least 30 people were killed and 70 wounded. Somalia's top two insurgent groups — al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam — have previously targeted each other's leaders, and Saturday's attack could have been a retaliatory assassination attempt against al-Shabab. A high-ranking member of al-Shabab was said to be inside the mosque. It was not immediately known whether Fuad Mohamed Qalaf survived.

Britain

Brown loses major paper's support

In another blow to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's faltering Labor government, the Guardian newspaper on Saturday unexpectedly endorsed the Liberal Democrats in this week's general election. Although the Guardian, a major newspaper, has been critical of Brown himself and urged the Labor Party to jettison him as leader, it is considered an ideologically Labor-supporting paper. Instant polls after last week's debate among the leaders of the three main parties showed Brown trailing both David Cameron, the Conservative leader, and Nick Clegg, leader of the surging Liberal Democrats. The election is Thursday.

Elsewhere

India: The United States, Australia and Canada warned Saturday that terror groups were likely planning "imminent attacks" in New Delhi and foreigners there should be vigilant.

Pakistan: A suicide bomber on Saturday killed three civilians and three other militants in a busy market area in a northwestern Pakistani region wrested from the Taliban last year, an army commander said.

Times wires

China flight diverted after explosive claim by American 05/01/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 1, 2010 9:29pm]
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