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An Arab woman who wanted to joke with a female officer at Abu Dhabi airport when she was checking her baggage told her she had an explosive belt stripped round her body, not realising how serious that joke was.

The unnamed woman was told to go through the metal detector machine when she arrived at the airport along with other passengers.

When the machine bleeped, the female officer came close to her and started to search her pockets and baggage.

“Be careful, I have an explosive belt which may go off,” she told the officer, who hurried to the senior officer at the airport and informed him.

The woman was led away by the police and later was sentenced to two months in prison by a court of first instance in the capital though she insisted she was only joking.

On Tuesday, she was acquitted by a court of appeals on the grounds there was no criminal intention in her act.