Evacuated Across Russia After Wave of Bomb Threats

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Schools, government buildings and shopping malls in more than a dozen Russian cities continue to be evacuated four days after local authorities started receiving anonymous bomb threats, the Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.

A total of 20 sites were evaucated across central Moscow on Wednesday afternoon (September 13), according to the Daily Mail.

Sniffers dogs are searching the areas to confirm if there is any truth to the threats made.

People were evacuated from shopping centers, train stations and a university in Moscow. Also, students and teaching staff were evacuated from the Sechenov Medical University and MGIMO International Relations University.

One source suggested the threats came in "almost simultaneously" and, if they had been carried out, they could have caused a "9-11 style atrocity".

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Olga Shterk, a spokeswoman for the Chelyabinsk regional police, said that Russia's Federal Security Service was investigating the incidents as a "spam attack", according to Radio Free Europe.

Tass reported that the railway timetable remained unaffected by the police operation. Initial reports indicated the evacuations might have been some kind of exercise.

He added: "Each call is being checked". Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's Spokesperson declined to comment on the affair, which some say was part of an anti-terrorist drill.

Russian Federation has this week experienced a wave of hoax bomb threats.

All of the calls had so far turned out to be false alarms. However, the possibility that the hoaxers are using pre-recorded messages-as appears to be the case in earlier, identical messages-automated dialing systems and digital means of concealing their true location present difficulties in identifying the culprits.