Thousands evacuated as Russia hit by huge wave of anonymous bomb threats
Warnings of explosives planted in the Russian capital, the Moscow Region and elsewhere in the country started to arrive early on Tuesday via telephone and email, Russian news agencies and social media reported.
There has so far been no official confirmation of those reports from law enforcement agencies. But a source in the emergency services told the RIA-Novosti news agency that almost 40,000 people were evacuated across the country after bomb threats against more than 150 buildings. Not a single explosive device has been found so far.
Almost a hundred of the targeted buildings were in Moscow, including several universities and schools, the 302-meter-tall City of Capitals tower in Moscow City, malls, hotels, stadiums, a church and administrative buildings. Public servants from the local government in the Moscow region also had to be evacuated.
A police source told Tass news agency that the bomb threats originated from phone numbers and IP addresses located outside Russia. Some reports claim that they came from Ukraine.
In mid-January, police arrested a man who claimed that explosives were planted at three Moscow airports and the Parliament. The anonymous caller was identified as a mentally-ill patient from the Republic of Tatarstan.
The country faced a massive wave of bomb threats last autumn when almost 2 million people were evacuated in 75 regions. All the reports turned out to be fake, with police saying that the messages were sent by extremists linked to Islamic State.
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