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Australia joins security crackdown on tech in Middle East airports

The Australian government has announced "targeted" electronics screening and security checks following similar moves in the UK and US.

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Airline passengers flying from the Middle East to Australia face increased scrutiny and potential delays with the introduction of new electronics screening processes in three major transit airports.

Passengers flying out of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha will now be "randomly selected" for explosive detection screening, and face additional "targeted screening of electronic devices."

The measures were announced by the Australian government, and will affect Qantas, Emirates and Qatar Airways flights, as well as Etihad flights, including Virgin Australia code share.

A number of Middle Eastern and North African travel hubs have been targeted with increased airline security measures in recent weeks, including a carry-on baggage ban for electronics larger than a phone on US- and UK-bound flights from countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The Australian government has followed the UK example with the introduction of explosives testing in the three airports, though it stopped short of issuing a complete ban on the carriage of electronic devices in-flight.

"There is no ban on the carriage of electronic devices on flights to Australia at this stage," said Darren Chester, Australia's federal minister for transport.

"The government is continuing to ensure Australians and visitors who travel by air can do so in the knowledge that every precaution is being taken to ensure they arrive at their destinations safely."

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