Tens of UK schools have been evacuated after receiving bombing and shooting threats for the third day in a row.
A string of phoned-in anonymous threats forced authorities to evacuate nine more schools on Thursday after at least 27 schools were closed for the same reason on Monday.
So far, more than 40 schools have received anonymous calls of bombs threats, with some of the callers warning “the shrapnel will take children’s heads off.”
Thousands of children have been evacuated since Monday morning, the majority of whom are from primary schools.
The British counter-terror police have launched investigation into the anonymous calls, which threaten to shoot and behead pupils.
The caller behind all calls was reportedly an adult male and police were trying to identify the individual.
Although some of the threats have been discovered as hoaxes, police forces across the country have taken the threats seriously due to the “disruption and alarm to the public.”
“These remain under investigation as malicious hoaxes. We are now investigating this incident as an elaborate hoax,” Detective Sergeant James Meanwell said.
A spokesman for the UK Met Police said the bomb threats were warning of “suspicious devices” being placed in schools, but the officials treated the calls as “malicious communications.”
In January, three waves of similar bomb hoaxes swept across the UK and France.
According to local reports, back then callers also threatened to turn up at schools armed with bombs and guns.
It took only a few days before a 14-year-old boy in the West Midlands was arrested on suspicion of making copycat calls to 14 schools in the Birmingham area.