Mount Etna erupts: latest pictures

By MSN UK News. Image: Marco Restivo/Demotix/Corbis
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Mount Etna has erupted, sending lava and gas shooting high into the sky.

The volcano, which is the most active in Europe, created a towering plume of ash that was visible in much of eastern Sicily.

Catania airport said the eruption on Saturday had forced the closure of nearby air space. The ban was lifted early on Sunday morning.

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Angela Platania/Demotix/Corbis
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A close-up view of the eruption

There are several inhabited villages on the slopes of Mount Etna, but these were not evacuated of residents despite the lava flow.

AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi
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Smoke billows during the eruption, as seen from the village of Viagrande near the Sicilian town of Catania

AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi
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Lava from Mount Etna lights up the night sky in Sicily

Angela Platania/Demotix/Corbis
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Smoke and ash rise into the sky

Mount Etna's eruptions are not infrequent, but the last major one occurred in 1992.

Angela Platania/Demotix/Corbis
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A jet of lava shoots out of the volcano

AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi
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A long-distance view of the eruption