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Air France plane searched in Caracas after explosives scare

By CNN Staff
December 15, 2013 -- Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An Air France flight leaving Venezuela was searched after an explosive scare on Saturday
  • The government was alerted about an alleged threat to detonate explosives
  • The Paris-bound flight was postponed to Sunday after the operation ran for four hours

(CNN) -- An Air France flight leaving Caracas, Venezuela, for Paris was stopped and searched on Saturday, after French intelligence alerted the Venezuelan government about the threat of an explosive device, a Venezuelan minister said.

The evening Air France Flight 385 was grounded for a security sweep that involved explosives experts and a canine team, according to a statement posted on the website for Miguel Eduardo Rodriguez Torres, Venezuela's minister of popular power for international relations, justice and peace.

The statement quoted Rodriguez Torres speaking to Venezuelan state television as saying: "The flight was suspended and (there was) a thorough review of the aircraft to confirm the situation, since allegedly a terrorist group planned to detonate the explosives during the flight."

He estimated the operation ran for four hours.

It was not clear if the threat referred to a Caracas to Paris flight, or vice versa.

Air France said in a statement that Flight 385 had been postponed before passengers boarded the plane "in accordance with a decision by local authorities in relation to security measures."

It said all 279 passengers and 13 crew members would fly from Caracas to Paris on Sunday evening.

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