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Swiss to step up security on US-bound flights

Swiss International Air Lines is preparing to enforce stricter security measures requested by United States government against travellers from 14 countries.

The measures involve extra rigorous checks of United States-bound passengers originating from countries the US regards as “state sponsors of terrorism” and other "countries of interest".

They are: Nigeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Somalia.

The US has called for the passengers to undergo full-body pat downs, searches of carry-on luggage and advanced body-imaging scans. Swiss would not specify which measures in particular will be in operation but they are expected to be in place from Tuesday in Geneva and Zurich airports.

The measures came into force in the US on Monday. It follows a botched attempt to blow up an aircraft over Detroit on Christmas Day. Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had boarded the Northwest Airlines plane in Amsterdam wearing the explosives under his clothes, and is believed to have been trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.

US-bound travellers from Swiss airports have since been undergoing thorough hand-baggage checks, which has led to passenger delays of around 15 minutes during check-in. and agencies


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