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Aeroflot Flight Evacuated in Berlin; Police Say No Bomb Found

An OAO Aeroflot flight was cleared to leave for Moscow from Berlin after German police acting on a tipoff evacuated the plane and found no evidence of explosives aboard.

All 190 passengers were evacuated from flight SU 112 at Berlin Schoenefeld airport today after police in the German capital received a telephone warning that a bomb might be on board, Federal Police spokesman Sven Drese said. The plane was taken to a secure position at the airport and searched by a security team including sniffer dogs.

“We’ve concluded that there was no bomb or explosive substance on board,” Drese said by phone. The flight will leave Berlin for Moscow later today.

Several media organizations received a related fax that involved claims from an alleged insurgency group in Chechnya, the southern Russian region that rebelled against the government in Moscow in 1994 and 2000, the spokesman said.

Police are also investigating whether the threat was connected to about 50 undocumented Vietnamese nationals aboard the flight who were being deported via Moscow, Drese said.

German authorities announced increased security at airports and railway stations on Nov. 17 after receiving “concrete indications” that Islamist extremists planned to stage an attack in Germany toward the end of last month. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere warned of a “new threat level” after receiving intelligence from an unidentified foreign ally and gathering evidence domestically from Islamist groups.

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