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Robbers attack Swiss Fokker at Brussels

Police are investigating an incident at Brussels airport during which valuable goods were stolen from a parked Fokker 100.

The aircraft had been operating for Swiss International Air Lines, although the carrier says it was wet-leased from Helvetic Airways.

Swiss is not giving any further information about the 18 February incident, pending an update from the airport.

But the airport's operator states the flight involved was subsequently cancelled after the event which took place at 19:47.

It states that "a few men" broke through the fence at the airport with two cars. They drove to the aircraft and "stole valuable goods". The airport has not identified the goods.

"There was no shooting and nobody was injured," the airport operator adds. "This lasted only a few minutes and, after that, they left the airport domain through the damaged fence."

Police have started an investigation and the operator is conducting an on-site inquiry.

"The incident had no impact on the continuity of [other] air traffic," says the airport company.

Schedules indicate that Swiss' flight LX789 from Brussels to Zurich, scheduled to depart at 20:05, was cancelled on 18 February.

Helvetic Airways could not be reached for comment.

Brussels airport, a transit point for the diamond industry, has previously been the target for aircraft robberies - notably twice in the space of five months in late 2000 and early 2001. At the time European carriers heavily criticised security at the airport.

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