Arrests After Pilot Blinded By Laser

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GELENDZHIK, Russia, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Police say they arrested two men who allegedly blinded the pilot of a passenger plane with a laser pointer as it was landing at an airport in southern Russia.

There were no injuries as the plane with 115 passengers aboard landed safely Tuesday at the airport in the Russian town of Gelendzhik, authorities said.

“Two young men were arrested after it was reported that somebody was blinding plane pilots with a laser,” Krasnodar region police spokesman Igor Zhelyabin told RIA Novosti.

Zhelyabin said the two suspects told arresting officers they were just “testing” the powerful laser.

Thirty similar incidents have been reported across Russia so far this year, officials said. A bill mandating jail terms for people who attempt to blind pilots was recently introduced in the lower house of the Russian Parliament, RIA Novosti reported.

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