There was widespread disruption of the daily routine in Moscow on Wednesday (13 September) after more than one hundred anonymous hoax bomb threats in a period of a few hours.
The emergency services searched schools and universities, shopping malls, railway stations, airports and hotels. An official from the Russian capital's emergencies services told TASS news agency that they remain on high alert. "Moscow's emergencies services have received about 100 bomb alerts so far. Sniffer dogs and bomb disposal experts are conducting searches at the facilities," he said.
Moscow's emergency services said they had received a wave of bomb threat calls targeting mostly major shopping malls, including the iconic GUM department store on Red Square.
Students and teaching staff were evacuated from the Sechenov Medical University, MGIMO International Relations University, Russian State Social University, and the Russian Justice Ministry's Law Academy. Three hotels - Kosmos, Zvezdnaya and Azimut Hotel Olympic Moscow - were also evacuated. Overall, more than fifty thousand people were evacuated over a period of a few hours.
The bomb threats proved to be hoaxes.
source: Commonspace.eu with TASS
photo: An employee at the Moscow GUM store advices customers that the store is closed due to a bomb alert (picture courtesy of Tass News Agency)
"I will not express too much optimism, this is a difficult problem, and the experience of our negotiations proves that it won't end quickly", the Russian Foreign Minister said in Yerevan on Tuesday (21 November)