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Schools in Cyprus evacuated after bomb threats



Unknown persons on Friday sent lurid e-mails threatening bomb attacks on numerous of Cypriot schools, prompting a major evacuation operation of pupils on the island.

The threats, which were later published by several media outlets, also contained pledges to “sever your necks” and “drown you in your blood,” which police categorised as having an Islamist background.

The messages were received by almost all primary and secondary schools, as well as some kindergartens, police spokesman Christos Andreou said on Cypriot radio.

“We have carried out the evacuation calmly. So far, no explosive device has been discovered,” Andreou said.

Media reported that many frightened parents took their children out of the schools.

The threats referred to Islamic law, or Sharia, which the author of the message said demanded the punishment of all unbelievers.

According to the police, it was written in poor Greek and appeared to have been translated online.

Security authorities were trying to determine where the mails were sent from.

Why Cyprus should suddenly be exposed to Islamist threats initially remained unclear.

The small EU island republic is home to many Israeli citizens, but also many refugees from the Middle East.
Nicosia maintains good relations with both Israel and the Arab world.

At the request of the Cypriot government, aid supplies have been repeatedly sent by ship to the suffering population in the Gaza Strip in recent months.

Ummul Idris

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