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Attacked plane lands in Tel Aviv


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MOMBASA, Kenya (CNN) -- An airliner that was the target of a missile attack as it took off from Mombasa, Kenya, has landed safely in Tel Aviv.

CNN's Jerrold Kessel said the Arkia Airlines Boeing 757, which was carrying 260 passengers and 10 crew members, was hit by shrapnel after it took off from the port city on Thursday.

Preparations had been made for an emergency landing at Nairobi, Kenya. But after an hour in the air it was determined there was little damage to the plane and no injuries to passengers, and it could continue to Tel Aviv, its scheduled destination.

The attack coincided with a suicide bomb at the Israeli-owned Paradise hotel in Mombasa in which 11 people are reported to have died. (Full story)

The jet, Flight 582, landed at 1240 local time (1040 GMT). The Israeli airline El Al cancelled all incoming international flights until further notice following the missile attack, Israeli radio reported.

At least one missile, possibly two were fired at the plane, a weekly charter flight, said airline spokeswoman Magda Malikalanpar.

"The passengers are fine -- nothing happened to the passengers. Thank God." She said the pilot saw flashes as the plane was taking off.

Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "If it was indeed missiles shot against civilian aviation this is a very dangerous escalation of terror.

"It means that terror organisations and those regimes that stand behind then are capable of acquiring weapons that can bring about mass casualties in every place in the world.

"Today they fired missiles at Israeli planes, tomorrow they'll fire missiles at U.S. planes, British planes, planes from every state."



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