January 19, 2016 / 1:10 PM / 4 years ago

Thousands of children evacuated in school bomb hoaxes

LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly 4,000 children were evacuated after four secondary schools in the Sandwell area of west Birmingham received hoax bomb calls on Tuesday.

West Midlands Police said they were investigating.

“Following checks by our teams at four schools across the region this morning, we can confirm that NO bombs/suspicious objects have been found,” the force said on Twitter.

Police said schools had taken the decision independently to evacuate.

“Parents are being reassured everything is being done to ensure the safety of the children and there is no reason to panic,” Sandwell Borough Council said in a statement.

Britain is currently on its second highest alert level meaning an attack is considered highly likely, and on Monday West Midlands police charged two men with funding terrorism connected to Syria.

Last September, a serving policeman was arrested on suspicion of being part of a fake terrorism plot to kidnap and kill an officer in Birmingham.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison

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