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(Reuters) - Chilean police arrested a 29-year-old man over bomb threats that grounded nine commercial airplanes in Chile, Peru and Argentina on Thursday.

A specialist organised crime unit arrested the man in the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta overnight.

"The police managed to trace the phone calls that were made warning of explosives on different planes," a police spokesman, Diego Rojas, said on Friday on local radio.

The man was due to appear before a court in Santiago on Friday afternoon charged with making threats of explosives contrary to national security legislation. Police did not release the man's name.

Hundreds of passengers and their luggage were grounded at airports around the region after threats were made toward planes operated by LATAM airlines, a major regional carrier, and Sky, a low-cost Chilean airline.

(Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta and Aislinn Laing)

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Reuters