updated 3/3/2010 12:48:47 PM ET 2010-03-03T17:48:47

A British airport says two women who refused to go through a full-body scanner have been barred from boarding a flight.

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Manchester Airport says the women, who were believed to have been booked to fly out to Islamabad, refused to be scanned, citing medical and religious reasons.

The airport said in a statement Wednesday that the passengers were not permitted to fly in accordance with the government directive on scanners.

Britain is introducing more full-body scanners to strengthen aviation security, but privacy advocates say the technology amounts to "virtual strip searching."

Manchester Airport says strict procedures are in place to protect the privacy of passengers, who are randomly selected to go through the scanner.

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