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French airports again hit by fake bomb threats

Fourteen French airports received bomb threats on Thursday, with at least nine evacuated, in the latest series of false alarms that have rattled the country over the past week. Most of France’s major airports — with the exception of its two biggest in Paris — were temporarily cleared on Wednesday, leading to at least 130 flight cancellations. On Thursday, the incidents were focused on small airports such as Brest, Carcassonne, Bordeaux and Montpellier. The Palace of Versailles was also evacuated for a fourth time in less than a week. France, which has large Jewish and Muslim populations, has been on high alert since Hamas’s assault on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza and since a teacher was killed last week by an attacker who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group. Aviation authority DGAC confirmed the bomb threats on Thursday without giving a precise number, while several airports put out social media messages about the evacuations and checks by security forces. “It’s a serious nuisance, but we take zero risks,” said a spokesperson for Bordeaux-Merignac Airport, which had already seen a three-hour evacuation on Wednesday that led to a dozen flights being cancelled. Transport Minister Clement Beaune wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday that “planned false alerts are dangerous and unacceptable,” adding that offenders risk two years in prison and a 30,000-euro ($31,700) fine.

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