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Text message that cried wolf

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ARMED police stormed a youth hostel after schoolchildren sent text messages to their parents saying: "Hooded gunmen. Laura shot in leg."

Officers in flak jackets broke in at midnight after parents dialled 999. But the messages were a prank by British pupils on a trip to France.

The Year Seven students aged 11 and 12 were in Boulogne for a weekend to practise language skills.

Several girls sent late-night messages to their parents saying there were masked gunmen outside and one girl had been shot.

One distraught parent called police. They alerted Interpol, who contacted colleagues in France.

Graham Abel, head teacher at King Edmund School in Rochford, Essex, said of the incident earlier this month: "It was just a good game as far as they were concerned.

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