Thousands Evacuated As Wave Of Bomb Threats Hits Russian Cities


Published: 2017.09.14 03:36 by Admin
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Over 45,000 people have been evacuated from more than 200 facilities in 29 Russian cities after a wave of anonymous bomb threat calls over the past three days, amid speculation of either foreign interference or a domestic anti-terror drill.


On Wednesday, 15,000 people were evacuated from various facilities across Moscow, after bomb threat calls were made to twelve shopping centres, three railway stations and at least four universities.

Anonymous callers are reported to be making calls over the internet to emergency services, and usually naming several facilities with supposed explosive devices inside.

Since September 11 dozens of schools, universities, malls, railway stations, airports and government offices have been evacuated and inspected by law enforcement in big cities all over Russia – from Kaliningrad in the West to Vladivostok in the Far East.
Visitors wait in front of the entrance of the GUM department store near the Red Square after being evacuated
Visitors wait in front of the entrance of the GUM department store near the Red Square after being evacuated Credit: AFP

No traces of explosive devices have been found in any of the buildings, the Meduza news outlet reported.

Anonymous source in the law enforcement told Interfax that mass evacuations were prompted by a spam attack “masterminded from abroad.”

State-run RIA Novosti news agency cited another anonymous source that claimed bomb threat calls are “coming from Ukraine.”

But several regional news outlets quoted unidentified military officials who maintain that the evacuations are part of a Russian anti-terror exercise, performed in preparation for the 2018 World Cup.
More than 15,000 people were evacuated Wednesday from several shopping centres, universities and train stations in Moscow
More than 15,000 people were evacuated Wednesday from several shopping centres, universities and train stations in Moscow

The most recent call identified Red Square, the main tourist attraction point in Moscow, next to the Kremlin, as a supposed target. This information is currently being investigated, Interfax reported.

In several cities, investigations have been opened into “knowingly false reports of terrorist acts,” a criminal offense in Russia punishable by up to three years in prison.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the situation on Wednesday and redirected all questions to Russia’s security services.

Russia’s law enforcement bodies so far have made no official statements

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