China says plane diverted to Afghanistan after threat

Kam Air deputy chief Feda Mohammad Fedawi told The Associated Press that the plane, carrying 160 passengers, left Kabul and was crossing Kyrgyzstan on its way to the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi, when it was told to turn back on Sunday.

The Xinhua News Agency said there had been a bomb threat and that Urumqi airport authorities were told not to let the plane land.

However, Fedawi said there had been no bomb threat and that the plane had been inspected by Afghan officers and a foreign security company before departure in what he called an unusually thorough security check.

Kyrgyz authorities had told the crew that Chinese authorities would not allow them into their airspace, Fedawi said. The plane could not return to the Afghan capital because of windy weather and was diverted to the southern city of Kandahar, he said.

Fedawi said the plane's passengers and crew were fine and that it was expected to return to Kabul on today morning.

A press officer for NATO forces in Afghanistan, which control the Kandahar airport, said the alliance had received no report of a plane forced to land there.

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