International schools in Spain cancel Monday classes after bomb threats

Several international schools in Spain cancelled classes on Monday after receiving bomb threats by emails, leaving thousands of students at home.

“We received an email about a bomb threat last night (on Sunday) at 11 p.m.,” Noël Jegou, the principal of the French high school Molière in Zaragoza said. “We notified the police as well as the French embassy in Spain,” he continued, adding that the school will not reopen until authorities have sorted out the situation. Some 1,000 students are enrolled at the French high school.

Another French high school, the Jules Verne in Tenerife, received a similar threat during the night between Sunday and Monday, though the institute’s director did not provide details of the nature of the threat.

Parents of students attending a British school in Madrid, the St George’s School, received “an email during the night saying that a bomb had been placed in the school.”

According to the school’s management, the same message went to several schools in the Spanish capital on the same day. The school said the police believed the threats were part of a “series of false alarms.”

It’s not the first time that something similar happened in Spain and Europe. Last week, the British school Kensington in Barcelona also received “a threat by email,” according to the school’s management, but any risk was later ruled out by police officers after visiting the site.

In France, hundreds of false bomb alerts disrupted airports, train stations, schools, colleges and high schools for several months during the past year, forcing authorities to shut down the facilities while they assessed the actual risk. According to the country’s Ministry of Education, there have been a total of 788 alerts in French schools since the beginning of the year.

Lithuania has faced a similar problem. Earlier this month, the country’s police said Lithuania was dealing with an “information attack” as dozens of schools and other public institutions had received hundreds of bomb threats for three months straight.

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