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Two more cases of pilots blinded by lasers reported in Russia's south

RIA Novosti

10:57 24/06/2011 ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Unidentified individuals blinded the pilots of two passenger planes as they were landing at an airport in Russia's southern city of Rostov-on-Don, the chairman of the local air traffic controllers union, Yury Batagov, said on Friday.

Batagov said both incidents took place on Thursday night an hour apart from each other. The blinded pilots of both aircraft en route from Moscow managed to land safely.

There has been a rise in cases with blinding pilots with laser beams in Rostov-on-Don. On June 3, a crew member of a passenger aircraft was blinded and on June 7, the captain of another passenger plane was also blinded upon landing. Last week someone blinded the pilots of a police helicopter as it hovered for landing.

On the whole, some 30 similar incidents occurred since early this year in Russia, mostly at Moscow airports. In June, aviation authorities expressed concern over the increasing number of laser-related attempts targeting aircraft.

On Thursday, someone tried to blind the pilots of a passenger aircraft en route from St. Petersburg to Moscow as it was landing at Domodedovo International Airport.

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