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Sunday, July 23, 2017

US to ban laptops, tablets on flights from eight countries

People are seen inside the arrival hall of an airport in Nigeria March 8, 2017. /REUTERS
People are seen inside the arrival hall of an airport in Nigeria March 8, 2017. /REUTERS

The US is banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin baggage on flights from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries.

A US government source told the BBC that the measure would affect nine airlines operating out of 10 airports.

US media reported the order was sparked by intelligence gathered overseas.

It will reportedly include all large electronic devices such as laptops, tablets cameras, DVD players and electronic games.

But mobile phones and smartphones will still be allowed in carry-on luggage.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declined to comment on the issue but is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday.

The Transportation Security Administration, which is part of Homeland Security, also refused to comment.

It is unclear which airlines would fall under the ban and how long it will be in place.

But Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted on Monday that it would ban passengers from carrying on most electronics to and from its North American flights, CNN first reported.

The tweet was later deleted.

The Jordan-based carrier said that starting on Tuesday, it will only allow phones and medical devices on its flights. All other electronics would be "strictly prohibited".

The airline said that laptops, tablets, DVD players and electronic games must be checked with baggage.

The new rule will affect Royal Jordanian flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reportedly called congressional lawmakers over the weekend to explain the travel security issues that prompted the electronics ban, a congressional aide briefed on the discussion told the AP news agency.

The new ban has been under consideration for several weeks, according to US media.


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