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US plane turned back to Amsterdam

Reuters | August 23 2006

Two Dutch fighter planes accompanied a U.S. Northwest Airlines plane bound for Mumbai back to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Wednesday, officials said.

A Dutch air traffic control spokeswoman said the plane was in German airspace when it turned back. A spokeswoman for Schiphol said the pilot had taken the decision to turn back but could give no further details.

Security has been increased at airports worldwide after British police said on August 10 they had foiled a plot to blow up planes in the mid-Atlantic using liquid explosives disguised as drinks.

Dutch news agency ANP quoted police as saying a number of people had been taken off the Northwest plane and were being questioned.

Northwest Airlines said the plane was bound for Mumbai, but declined to comment further. Schiphol airport's website listed the NW0042 flight to Mumbai as canceled.

Last month serial bomb blasts hit packed commuter trains in Mumbai, killing more than 180 people. Indian police said on Tuesday they had foiled another possible attack in the city after they shot dead a suspected Pakistani national.

Dutch police were not immediately available to comment. A spokeswoman for Dutch counter-terrorism said the security alert had not been changed at Schiphol airport at midday on Wednesday.

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