Four Lahore schools evacuated over bomb hoax

Lahore :May 05:Authorities evacuated four public schools Wednesday morning following bomb threats whipping up fear and panic among students, teachers and administration. The bomb threat — which later turned out to be hoax — came as several universities in Islamabad were partially shut over security concerns.

Around 11.30am on Wednesday, an unidentified caller told the Lahore police that there were bombs at Government Girls High School in G-Block Gulshan-e-Ravi, Girls High School in E-Block Gulshan-e-Ravi, CDGL Boys High School Sanda, and CDGL Girls High School Sanda.

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Shortly after the call, police units rushed to the schools and evacuated them.

“All the children and staff were evacuated from the four schools,” DSP Ghulam Abbas told The Express Tribune. “The Bomb Disposal Squad also reached there and search operations were conducted.”

But no bombs or suspicious devices were found at any of the four schools. “We scanned all the buildings and premises. No explosive device was found,” BDS official Allahyar said after his teams had searched the schools.

DSP Abbas confirmed the schools have been cleared. “We are now trying to trace the caller who spread panic among the people,” he added.

The headmistress of Government Girls High School in E-Block Gulshan-e-Ravi complained that the authorities had kept them in the dark on the bomb threat.

“We were not informed about the bomb threat. We called the police after parents started gathering at the school gates,” Najamun Nisa told The Express Tribune. “This created a lot of trouble for us as most of the young children had started crying.”

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The schools will reopen today (Thursday) as per their regular schedule.

Security heightened in Islamabad

Several universities in Islamabad remained partially closed on Wednesday after a security alert was issued in the capital late Tuesday night.

Heavy contingents of police were deployed at the Allama Iqbal Open University (IOU), Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), International Islamic University (IIUI) as well as National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and National University of Modern Languages (NUML).

A police officer said there was a relatively high security alert in the capital and directions were issued to heighten security around universities. He added that the police have also combed areas around the universities.

A QAU official said the university administration was informed about the threat Tuesday night following which the university decided not to operate its bus service Wednesday morning.

With the bus service suspended, most of the university remained closed. He confirmed the law enforcement agencies inspected and checked various parts of the campus.

The police also erected temporary pickets on roads leading to the Red Zone in the early hours of Wednesday, intensifying checking of motorists. Security was beefed at several sensitive locations around the capital as well including hotels frequented by foreigners.Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2016.

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