Two loud booms rattled windows and shook residents of Malaga in southern Spain before officials confirmed the cause as a low-flying plane, not bombs.

"It was very loud and it sounded like a bomb but it's a false alarm," a government spokesman said.

Media initially reported two "explosions", saying people had rushed to their windows and the mobile phone network went dead.

Northern Spain recently saw bomb attacks blamed on Basque militants.

Conchita Vila, the owner of El Tubo bar in Malaga, said the noise had shaken her apartment.

"It scared me," she told the Associated Press.

"I live on the first floor and the whole house moved."

The reason for the jet flight was not clear. There are several Spanish military bases and an American air force base not far from Malaga.