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US bans laptops and tablets on flights from eight Muslim-majority countries

Any electronics device larger than a smartphone must be stored in the hold in airplanes from the nine affected airlines.

Published onMarch 21, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security has imposed new carry-on restrictions for US flights from eight Muslim-majority nations. The move bans any electronics device larger than a smartphone from being taken on board the airplane as part of carry-on luggage. Instead, the devices — which include laptops, tablets, and portable gaming products — are to be placed in hold luggage.

The announcement was made earlier today and the affected airlines have been given 96 hours to comply with the new rules. US officials told the BBC that the ban has no end date.

The move will affect 10 airports and nine airlines across the countries of Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. NCB news says: “The restrictions will not apply to U.S.-based airlines but only to foreign carriers that operate flights from certain countries directly to U.S. airports, according to officials, and will not apply on purely domestic flights.”

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The airlines involved are Royal Jordanian, Egypt Air, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways. The UK, meanwhile, is said to be about to announce a similar ban soon.

In a statement released today, the Department of Homeland security said, “We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests,” adding: “Implementing additional security measures enhances our ability to mitigate further attempts against the overseas aviation industry.”

You can read the full statement here.

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