FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Six middle school students in a small Alaska town were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting to bring guns and knives to school and kill fellow students. The arrests stem from an investigation into rumors reported to police earlier in the week about the students’ plans in North Pole, a town of 1,600 people about 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks, said Police Chief Paul Lindhag.

The unidentified students wanted to seek revenge for being picked on by other students to disliking staff and students, Lindhag said.

The students had planned to disable North Pole Middle School’s power and telephone systems, allotting time to kill their victims and escape out of town.

Police not immediately release details of any evidence against the suspects.

Authorities said the students could face charges of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.

“I’m as surprised as anyone,” Lindhag said at a news conference at North Pole City Hall. “You don’t want to think this will happen in your own home town.”

Five Kansas teenagers suspected of planning a shooting rampage at their high school were arrested on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

School officials learned that a threatening message had been posted on the Internet, authorities said. The boys ages 16 to 18 will stay in custody through the weekend while prosecutors decide whether to file charges, a judge ruled Saturday.

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