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Asian students' shock at ejection from jet by passenger mutiny

Daily Mail | August 24 2006

Two Asian students have revealed their shock and despair after being thrown off a plane because other passengers feared they were suicide bombers.

Manchester Umist students Sohail Ashraf and Khurram Zeb, both 22, said they sympathised with nervous travellers, but urged people not to be paranoid about Muslims.

"We might be Asian, but we're two ordinary lads who wanted a bit of fun," Mr Ashraf told the Daily Mirror.

"Just because we're Muslim does not mean we are suicide bombers."

The pair were marched off the jet at gunpoint after fellow passengers alerted officials on the flight back from Malaga, Spain.

Holidaymakers on board flight ZB 613 from Malaga to Manchester became alarmed at the men's behaviour, and demanded that air staff remove them from the plane in the incident last week.

Cabin crew informed Spanish authorities of the passengers' fears and the men were taken off the Monarch Airlines flight and quizzed by police. The plane had been due to take off at around 3am last Wednesday but was delayed by around three hours.

Some passengers reportedly stormed off the Airbus 320 aircraft and refused to fly unless the pair were removed.

The pair were quizzed by officers for several hours, but then put up in a hotel and allowed to fly back to the UK later that day.

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