Bomb scares at Cyprus airports ahead of Biden visit

Bomb scares at the two main airports in Cyprus forced the evacuation of one on Tuesday, only a day before US Vice President Joe Biden visits the Mediterranean island.

AFP| Last Updated: May 21, 2014, 09:19 AM IST

Larnaca:Bomb scares at the two main airports in Cyprus forced the evacuation of one on Tuesday, only a day before US Vice President Joe Biden visits the Mediterranean island.

Police said they evacuated hundreds of passengers and staff from Larnaca International Airport at about 9:00 am (0600 GMT) after receiving a phone call from someone saying a bomb had been planted there.

Bomb disposal experts used sniffer dogs and were joined by police in a search of the airport on the south coast of Cyprus.

They found nothing suspicious, and passengers and staff were allowed back into the facility after about 90 minutes, said the police.

A similar scare occurred at Paphos International Airport, on the holiday island`s west coast, where a search took place but without disrupting operations.

Communications Minister Marios Demetriades told state radio that Larnaca airport was evacuated after "some suspicious objects were located during the search".

The radio station said two flights were delayed for up to 15 minutes during the scare.

The government said in a statement issued later that the scares were the result of a "hoax".

Police are now trying to track down the caller.

Cyprus is already on high alert ahead of Wednesday`s scheduled arrival of Biden, only the second vice president of the United States to visit the country.