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Nigeria: Pilgrims carrier Faces ban by Israel

Israel has barred state carrier El Al from flying in thousands of pilgrims from Nigeria because of security concerns.

Tourism Ministry official Rafi Ben-Hur says the ban will disrupt travel plans for 28,000 Christian pilgrims who were planning to fly from Abuja to Israel in the coming months.

An El Al subsidiary had hoped to fly the route during the coming Nigerian pilgrimage season, which runs from late October through January. The airline declined comment.

Airport security has remained a concern since a Nigerian man last year was accused of trying to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner with a bomb hidden under his clothes.

Ben-Hur says he is confident that all pilgrims will be able to fly other carriers to Israel.