Bomb hoaxes in Bulgaria: All schools in Plovdiv closed on March 31

The mayor of Plovdiv, Zdravko Dimitrov, has ordered all schools in the municipality to close on March 31 against the background of the fourth consecutive day of false bomb threats against numerous schools in Bulgaria.

On March 30, schools in Sofia, Stara Zagora, Bourgas, Veliko Turnovo, Varna and Dobrich received bomb threats, the country’s public broadcasters said. Numerous schools suspended in-person classes in the course of this week because of the threats, all of which have proven to be hoaxes.

The threats, mainly received via e-mail, began in the week which culminates on April 2 with Bulgaria’s latest early parliamentary elections. Customarily, many schools in Bulgaria are used as polling stations.

Central Election Commission (CEC) spokesperson Rositsa Mateva told a news conference on March 30 that the commission was in continuous contact with caretaker Interior Minister Demerdzhiev, who is administratively responsible for the elections on behalf of the government.

Mateva said that the CEC had been assured that the Interior Ministry was taking all actions to secure the buildings to be used by sectional electoral commissions.

As of April 1, all polling stations would be guarded by the Interior Ministry, until the election is over so that there is no possibility of the election process being disrupted, she said.

Demerdzhiev said on March 30 that the investigation into the threats was “well advanced”. Earlier, he said that the threats had links to Russia, but subsequently backtracked on that claim.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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