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Mass Evacuations in Russian Cities Continue After Bomb Threats

Mass Evacuations in Russian Cities Continue After Bomb Threats

More than 20,000 people were evacuated across Moscow Wednesday after several bomb threats were reported in various locations.

All alerts have proved to be hoaxes and the authorities have urged the public to stay calm, the BBC said yesterday.

"People were evacuated at 30 sites, in total more than 20,000 people were taken outside, this number is still being specified", an emergency services official told Russian news agency TASS.

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 Russian Federation - from Kaliningrad in the West to Vladivostok in the Far East. Three more Siberian cities evacuated shopping malls, government offices, schools and hospitals.

The spate of threats came after two days of similar calls caused disruptions in cities across Russian Federation, with the state-run RIA Novosti news service reporting some 45,000 people were evacuated nationwide.

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The Interior Ministry and Security Council declined to comment.

Threats and evacuations outside the capital also were reported today, in cities ranging from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Far East, across Siberia, to Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea. A Reuters TV cameraman said he saw police with sniffer dogs checking the building.

Police said that phonecall threats were still coming in.

Initial reports indicated that the evacuations might have been some kind of exercise. Wednesday, Klintsevich and other officials said the source could have been Ukraine.

According to reports, those responsible for the threats were still not located.

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