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France steps up airport security

France is increasing security on flights to the United States this summer, amid US concerns that al Qaida is trying to develop a new kind of bomb.

The Obama administration this week called for tighter security measures at foreign airports that have direct flights to the US, prompting British airports to increase security.

The French civil aviation authority announced stepped-up security measures "for the summer period". The agency said the measures might cause delays on US-bound flights.

French government officials would not elaborate on the measures, citing the need for discretion in security matters.

One fear is that extremists with a US or other Western passport could carry the new bomb onto a plane undetected by airport security.

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