A series of anonymous bomb threats that have been reported across Russia over the past four days has reached the capital, Moscow.
Sources at Moscow’s law enforcement agencies were quoted as saying that thousands of people were evacuated from shopping malls, railway stations, a university, and other buildings on September 13 following some 20 anonymous bomb threats made via phone calls.
On that day, similar calls triggered mass evacuations at schools, malls, theaters, and universities in the cities of Abakan, Tomsk, Saratov, Blagoveshchensk, Khabarovsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Ryazan, Samara, Nizhniy Novgorod, and Arkhangelsk.
The first evacuation reportedly took place at the mayor's office in Omsk on September 10 after an unknown person called authorities, saying there was a bomb in the building.
Searches in the evacuated buildings have revealed no bombs or explosives in any of the cities.
Investigations were launched into what a spokeswoman of the Chelyabinsk regional police, Olga Shterk, called a "spam attack."
"The phone calls were made via the Internet and therefore it will be difficult to locate the site from where the calls were made,” Shterk said on September 12.
Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax