Frankfurt bound Lufthansa flight from Minsk forced to late departure due to ‘threat of terrorist attack’

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A Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt from Minsk airport was suspended due to the threat of an imminent terrorist act. This was stated by the press service of the airport quoted by Interfax.

“The e-mail of the National Airport received a message from unidentified persons about their intention to commit a terrorist act against Lufthansa flight LH1487 on the Minsk-Frankfurt route. Departure was scheduled for 14:20. The boarding of this flight has been suspended,” the airport said in its Telegram channel. The flight eventually left at 16:15 according to the airport’s website.

The airport added that procedures are underway to “re-inspect the aircraft and everything that will be transported on it.”

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 lands in the Vilnius International Airport, in Vilnius, Lithuania, 23 May 2021. As Ryanair spokeswoman said, ‘the aircraft carrying scores of passengers from Athens to Vilnius was diverted to the Belarusian capital under the escort of a Mig-29 fighter jet after its crew was notified by authorities in Minsk of a ‘potential security threat on board’. A Ryanair flight from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania, with Belarus’ opposition journalist Roman Protasevich onboard, has been diverted and forced to land in Minsk on 23 May 2021, after alleged bomb threat. Protasevich was detained by Belarusian Police after landing, as Belarusian Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ reports and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda demanded immediate release of Protasevich. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

Earlier on Sunday, the flight from Athens to Vilnius – on which Belarusian opposition blogger Protasevich was travelling – was ordered to make an emergency landing in Minsk due to a bomb threat, which was subsequently announced as a hoax.

The incident has triggered a wave of criticism from European leaders, who accused the Belarusian authorities of meddling with the European Union’s civil aviation. NATO said diverting the flight was “serious and dangerous,” while the European Union stated that “such an act cannot be left unanswered.”

Interfax / Sputnik / Minsk National Airport / ANSA