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10:16 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Russia

South Russia pilot laser blinding suspect says not guilty

Russia
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A young man detained in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Sunday on suspicion of blinding an aircraft pilot with a laser pen a few days earlier has denied his guilt.

A young man detained in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Sunday on suspicion of blinding an aircraft pilot with a laser pen a few days earlier has denied his guilt, police reported.

Last week, Russian air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya noted an increase in cases of pilots being blinded by laser pens during landing at Russian airports, with 30 such incidents registered this year. Five attempts to blind pilots were registered in Rostov over the past month.

Officers tracked down the man, born in 1989, as his neighbors saw he was shining green laser into the sky and called the police.

"The detainee has denied his involvement. During interrogation he named places where he [said he] had been at the time when blinding incidents took place. Police and Federal Security Service officers are now checking the report," police spokesman Alexei Polyansky said.