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Hoax bomb alerts to evade exams?

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By Agence France-Presse

Schools in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo have been plagued by around 20 bomb alerts over the past two weeks, all of which have turned out to be hoaxes, with police suspecting students of trying to avoid exams.

Police said that a number of schools and universities have had to be evacuated in recent weeks, with bomb-sniffing dogs sent in to search the premises.

Suspiciously, all of them occurred ahead of tests and exams. But police said they were taking no risks.

“They were all hoaxes, but we couldn’t ignore any of them, since it’s the children’s safety that is at stake,” police spokeswoman Suvada Kuldija told AFP.

The primary motive appeared to be to avoid exams, the spokeswoman suggested.

Parents also expressed their concern.

“We don’t want our children to be fleeing classes every day in panic, to be missing lessons and waiting outside in the cold for classes to resume,” said one parents’ association.

Over the coming days, police officers are scheduled to visit the schools to explain to students the dangers and costs of such alerts.