File - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki waves as he arrives for an agreement signing with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on August 23, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH)
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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday said he would punish those behind an incident that saw a Middle East Airlines plane forced to double back midflight to collect the son of an Iraqi official.Two hours after the plane was forced to return to Beirut, MEA issued a statement saying an Airbus 320 scheduled to depart Beirut at 12:46 p.m. had been delayed six minutes after one of its passengers, Mahdi al-Amiri, failed to make the flight.Twenty minutes after the plane entered Syria's airspace, the Baghdad airport station manager called MEA operations to inform them that Iraqi authorities would not allow it to land unless Amiri was on board, the statement added. Kareem al-Nouri, the transport minister's media adviser, said: "There were cleaning operations in the airport and specific measures were taken. We asked all flights not to land in Baghdad airport after 9 a.m. [0600 GMT] but this flight arrived after this time, so we asked it to turn back.
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