Britain announces tighter controls on air freight
Britain on Monday announced a ban on flights containing unaccompanied freight from Somalia as part of tighter restrictions designed to prevent terrorist attacks, dpa reported.
The ban, which comes into force at midnight, follows a similar embargo against air freight from Yemen imposed after bombs were found in air cargo that originated in that country.
The government also announced that toner cartridges weighing more than 500 grams will be banned from hand baggage on flights departing from Britain and also on cargo flights unless they originate from a regular shipper with security clearance.
Home Secretary Theresa May told parliament the two bombs identified in last week's plot originated in Yemen, but said suspending freight flights from Somalia was necessary because of a possible link between terrorists in the two countries.
Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron told legislators Britain must take every possible step to "cut out the terrorist cancer" that exists in the Arabian Peninsula.
May said an "intensive investigation"' had been taking place in Britain and overseas following the discovery on Friday of an explosive device on a UPS flight at East Midlands Airport and a similar bomb on a FedEx plane in Dubai.
The terrorists, she said, were constantly looking for ways to circumvent security procedures.
The new measures drew a mixed response from airline operators.
Michael O'Leary, board chairman of no frills carrier Ryanair, said common sense should prevail, and pointed out that passengers who fly on his planes do not carry toner cartridges.
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of BAR UK, which represents more than 80 British airlines, promised the government his organization's full support.