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Police investigate email threats to several German schools

Armed officers have been deployed in Leipzig and Magdeburg after schools received emails threatening violence. Authorities did not comment on the content, but they now think the threats may have been a hoax.

Around 13 schools in Germany went into lockdown on Monday after they received emailed threats, according to police. At least 11 high schools in the eastern German city of Leipzig received the email along with two high schools in the central German city of Magdeburg.

"The email reached several schools [...] Though we are acting under the assumption that this is not serious, we have launched comprehensive measures," tweeted police in the German state of Saxony, where Leipzig is located.

German public broadcaster MDR reported that the emails with the same content were sent to several schools throughout Germany.

"We found out from some schools in Leipzig this morning that they had received an email with threatening content. They were threatened with violence," a Leipzig police spokeswoman said.

Around 900 students were sent home in Magdeburg while Leipzig students and teachers barricaded themselves as armed officers cleared the schools.

Police in Magdeburg said the emails announced "unknown crimes [...] for the morning hours." However, authorities have not yet commented on what the emails specifically threatened. They are now investigating who sent the messages.

Authorities in the state of Saxony particularly have been on high alert after a raid on a refugee's apartment on October 8 uncovered highly explosive material. The suspect evaded police, leading to a two-day manhunt and the terror suspect's eventual suicide while in police custody in Leipzig last Wednesday.

rs/rc    (dpa, Reuters)

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