New Zealand Schools Evacuated Over Bomb Threat, Cyberbot Blamed

Several Schools across New Zealand have been evacuated after several calls threatening bomb attacks were reported. 

Schools in North Island, Masterton, Kaikōura, Greymouth, Queenstown, Levin, Whanganui, Rolleston, Takaka, Geraldine, Dunstan, Ashburton, and Palmerston North reportedly received phone bomb threats this week and were forced to evacuate or cancel classes. 

“Today’s incidents were really unexpected, unprovoked and really distressing for those communities involved,”  said Principals’ Federation president Cherie Taylor-Patel.

New Zealand Police assistant commissioner Bruce O’Brien said threats were referring to an explosive device and that they could have possibly come from one offshore source. 

“The ministry has said that their understanding is that this was actually a cyberbot coming in from overseas,” said Taylor-Patel after meeting with secretary of education Iona Holsted.

Police however, have not determined if it was in fact a cyberbot attack, who was behind it, and why. 

In 2017, a similar threat was traced to an offshore suspect who was arrested afterwards.

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